VW Will Introduce New Products More Quickly, Exec Says
Volkswagen will shorten the life cycles of its products to better adapt to a changing market, according to Michael Horn, head of VW operations in the U.S. Horn, speaking with Bloomberg, said the VW brand will introduce new products every five years instead of every seven years as in the past. Midway refreshes will come every three years instead of every four years. VW's decision to change its brand strategy came after 50 people from Volkswagen's research, engineering, sales, production and marketing departments studied new patterns in the U.S. market. “For the first time we’ve discussed the business case to really shorten our lifecycles here in the U.S. and to be a little bit more dynamic in terms of design changes," Horn said.Although it is the world's second largest automaker, Volkswagen holds just a small market share in the U.S. Sales are down more than 10 percent this year in the U.S. through April as the company keeps its aging products like the Eos convertible and Tiguan SUV. However, as one of the world's largest auto markets, the U.S. will be critical to VW's success in the future. Unfortunately, the new plan may not come in time to help VW achieve its goal of reaching 800,000 U.S. sales by 2018. And while VW may have many old products in its lineup, it is now introducing new versions of the Golf and GTI for the 2015 model year. Source: Bloomberg
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