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2011-01-07 10:32

PURSUING GROWTH: Volkswagen wants to triple its US sales and sees SUVs as the way to do it.

In a bid to triple its sales in the US, Volkswagen plans to expand its SUV portfolio – and topple dominant Toyota and General Motors in the process.

The head of VW in the US Jonathan Browning told news agency Bloomberg a range of options were being considered.

“We will be looking to really grow, particularly in the compact SUV segment. Over time, I think there's also scope for growth in terms of a larger SUV within the portfolio.”

3.3 million SUVs were sold in the US in 2010, where Honda’s CR-V was the most popular model with 203 714 units being sold. Volkswagen’s Tiguan and Touareg registered sales in 2010 of 4713 and 20 946 units, respectively.

But VW wants to triple its sales in the US to one million vehicles by 2018, expecting luxury arm Audi to account for 20 percent of those sales.

The German manufacturer is playing a game of catch up; including Audi sales, VW sold just over 358 000 cars in 2010. By contrast, GM sold 2.22 million, Ford 1.97 million and Toyota 1.76 million.

In a bid to remedy the sales situation, the manufacturer will open a new factory in Chattanooga by April, 2011 where a new mid-sized sedan built exclusively for the US market will be built.

VW expects the car, which will debut at the upcoming Detroit auto show, to be as successful as its top-selling Jetta. In 2010, Jetta sales accounted for half of the VW brand’s US sales.

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