Though still a niche player, Volkswagen is gaining traction in the U.S. after decades of promises and false starts, but there’s more work to do.
Find out what VW says it needs in order to compete.
In the U.S., the German automaker is still a niche player, but the VW brand hit a high-water mark in 2012 with 3% market share and 438,133 vehicles sold, up 35% from the previous year.
That is monumental for a brand that only exceeded 300,000 annual U.S. sales five times in the last 33 years, according to WardsAuto. The brand dipped to 0.4% of the U.S. market in 1993 with fewer than 50,000 sales and debated leaving the market.
To maintain momentum, the VW brand needs an affordable SUV to compete with the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot, said Rainer Michel, vice president of product marketing and strategy for Volkswagen of America.