After a slow past few years, Volkswagen America CEO Jonathan Browning expects the brand to be profitable this year for the first time since 2003. He says the Audi brand achieved profitability in the US last year.
Although Browning declined to release specific figures, the brand’s increasing popularity in the US – achieved on the back of rising sales and big marketing campaigns – is expected to bring in profits for Volkswagen Group this year. This will help contribute to Volkswagen’s goal of becoming biggest global carmaker by 2018.
In the first eight months of this year, Volkswagen sold 284,978 vehicles in the US, a figure that is up 19 per cent compared with the same period last year. The expected profits will not include the brand’s financial services, local manufacturing, or Volkswagen’s contribution to global fixed costs. Browning said,
“The focus is on meeting our contribution to the corporate profitability target. But this is a significant improvement.”
Earlier this year, Volkswagen opened up a US manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The plant is the only Volkswagen production facility in the US, assembling the popular new US-specification Volkswagen Passat.