VW plans to offset the decline in Europe by introducing 60 new and refreshed models by the end of this year and expanding its dealership network in emerging markets.
VW plans to open 1, 500 dealerships in emerging markets in the medium term, besides the existing 20,000 dealers around the world. VW has tries to offset the sales decline in Europe with gains in deliveries in Russia, China and the US. The German company also plans to surpass GM and Toyota by 2018 and take the first place as the largest automaker in the world. For the first quarter VW reported a sales gain of 5.1% to 2.27 million vehicles.
“The European debt crisis remains a source of far-reaching turmoil,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said in a speech at the company’s shareholder meeting in Hanover, Germany. “Regardless of whether we are in an upturn or a downturn, our goal is to ensure the Volkswagen group reaches the top of the automotive industry.”
VW relies on its new models, including the seventh generation Golf compact, to keep sales up. To lure the American and Chinese customers into buying a small car with a separate trunk, Audi has introduced the revamped A3 hatchback and later this year it will launch the sedan version of this model.