Volkswagen and its luxury Audi brand, which saw sales slow in 2004, are poised to rebound in the U.S. this year and next, thanks to new products on tap, says retiring VW of America Inc. President and CEO Gerd Klauss.
“The sales (declines) were not just all our fault,” he says. “We couldn't get product from Germany; we had some quality issues; we had exchange rate issues. We will show growth, I am telling you. From here on out, it's solid growth. We have finally got new products.”
VW will launch a new Jetta, Passat and GTI in 2005, while the new Golf will have to wait until 2006. Klauss says VW showed its new products to dealers at a presentation in Los Angeles, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.
“The dealers were roaring,” he says. “We had (Bernd) Pischetsrieder, our chairman, there making the commitments, saying we are all behind it, saying it is a new chapter.”