VW needs to recapture its market share in the US.
For years, Volkswagen has been struggling to recapture market share in the United States. After hitting its peak market share of 5% back in 1970, VW hasn't been able to garner more than 3% market share since 2012. The German automaker plans to reach 5% market share within the next 10 years, which would mean selling around 800,000 vehicles (double the company's current volume). Doing so will be an enormous challenge for VW and company CEO Herbert Diess has told Automotive News how he plans to make the company more profitable in the US market.
Speaking about VW's US dealers, Diess said, "I know many of them personally. I'm also sorry about, let's say, the operational defects we had. We had to postpone a few deliveries. We had a few quality hiccups, which I'm really sorry about, and which we have to improve. We will improve the team in all areas. We will upgrade our operations. We can do better."
We assume by postponing deliveries, Diess is referring to the Arteon, which has been continually delayed after being revealed in Europe over a year ago.
Diess also spoke about dealer profitability, which currently lags behind other automakers. "We want the dealers to become really profitable because only a profitable dealer will deliver a good service, will have a good customer relationship, and we will work on that. We will do the utmost," he said.
"I think we have the right dealer body for still a lot of growth to come. We will come with exciting new models. There will be growth potential, and I'm optimistic that we can improve dealer profitability," Diess said. We hope one of these new models includes a pickup truck like we've been begging VW to build for years.
"What we foresee for the Volkswagen brand is a story very much like the Audi story," he said. "We aren't coming from nowhere; we have a base, and everyone knows us. But there's a long way to go to really make Volkswagen a volume player here in the United States."
VW may have a long way to go, but the influx of electric ID models may have the potential to completely flip the script in the US.