GA Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 9

GAT:
Volkswagen’s “Strategy
2018” has a clear goal: Becoming
the number one car company in the
worldwithin the next four years.
How important is the U.S. market
segment for Volkswagen in achiev-
ing this goal?
Michael Horn (MH):
To clarify,
Strategy 2018 is about positioning
the VolkswagenGroup as a global
economic and environmental leader
among automobilemanufacturers.
We have four clear goals: First, to
become aworld leader in customer
satisfaction and quality. We see high
customer satisfaction as one of the
key requirements for the company’s
long-term success. Secondly, our aim
is a long-term return on sales before
tax of at least 8 percent to ensure
that the group’s solid financial
position and ability to act are
guaranteed even in difficult market
periods. Third, Volkswagen aims to
be themost attractive employer in
the automotive industry by 2018. To
build the best vehicles, we need the
best team in the sector. Lastly,
Volkswagen aims to increase unit
sales tomore than 10million
vehicles a year by 2018.
The U.S. is a very important market
for the Volkswagen Group. Last year,
the group delivered 611,747 vehicles
in the U.S. andwe expect this pace
to continue this year. Long term, the
U.S. is andwill remain one of the
most important markets for the
Volkswagen Group. Over the past
few years, we have achieved quite a
bit, Volkswagen and Audi nearly
doubled the sales between 2009 and
2013. We are now launching the
second phase of our growth strategy
in the U.S., including the recent
announcement of themidsize SUV
for the Volkswagen brand. With the
midsize SUV, the expansion of the
Chattanooga Plant, and the new
development center, the focus is on
the wishes of the U.S. customer. This
is also a strong signal for the U.S. as
an industrial and automobile
production location. From 2014 to
2018, the Volkswagen Groupwill be
investingmore than $7 billion in
North America.
GAT:
The factory inChattanooga,
Tenn., made headlines over the past
fewweeks with the announcement of
a$600million planned investment.
Inwhat way is the newmidsize
SUV “CrossBlue” that will be built
at that facility also a commitment to
theU.S. as a production location?
MH:
Thismassive new investment
in our Chattanoogamanufacturing
facility is a confirmation that our team
members there are building vehicles to
the highest quality standards, and
further expansion solidifiesVolkswa-
gen’s decision to build carswherewe
sell them. There is great demand for
midsize SUVs in theU.S.With the
decision to produce the car in Tennes-
“There is great demand for amidsize SUV
and the ‘CrossBlue’ will be a truly great
German-designed, American-built vehicle.”
Michael Horn, President & CEO
of VolkswagenGroup of America
C O V E R S T O R Y
NewmidsizeSUV fromVolkswagen tobeproduced inChattanooga (Concept car shown)
GermanAmerican Trade Sep/Oct 2014
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