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By Jeff Hester December 14, 2011
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Thank you for your interest in's coverage and analysis of carmakers. is being integrated into a new area of Coverage of carmakers now can be found at To stay connected via social media as well, please follow on Twitter@edmunds and fan... more

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New Beetle Fist-Bumps Its Way Into Men's Hearts

By Dale Buss September 13, 2011

Volkswagen has been signaling for a long time that it wants the new Beetle (above) to stand for more than quirkiness and nostalgia, and that it is aiming for the fresh version of the nameplate to extend beyond its traditionally female clientele. So consider VW “on message” with its first major TV advertisement (below) attached to the Beetle launch this fall, which features a 30-ish man receiving high-fives and fist bumps all over town because of the spiffy new Beetle he’s driving. It’s very reminiscent of VW’s “Punch Dub” spot of a few years ago which showed a series more

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Volkswagen Waging War On Quality Image

By Bill Visnic September 8, 2011

Most discussions about the Volkswagen Group inevitably turn to its goal of becoming the world’s largest automaker by 2018. But in reality, the issue for VW is as much one of quality as quantity. Sure, the company wants to be the world’s No. 1 automaker – but U.S. executives at a recent new-product introduction at Volkswagen of America Inc. headquarters in Herndon, VA, said they’re first engaging in an all-out assault on the perception that the brand is synonymous with poor quality. more

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If VW Can Meet U.S. Goals, It May Be 'Game Over'

By Dale Buss June 3, 2011

Volkswagen sales in May blew the doors off the brand’s old minimalist paradigm for the U.S. market, rising 28 percent over May 2010. For the year, they are up 20 percent, just as they grew for all of 2010 over 2009. If the brand can maintain that magnitude of increase for the entire year, Volkswagen’s U.S. sales easily would top 300,000 units in 2011, against its goal of 800,000 brand sales annually by 2018. And as CEO Jonathan Browning pointed out, Volkswagen of America has been racking up these strong results so far this year even without the new more

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VW Becoming Number One Will Require Flying Leap

By Dale Buss May 31, 2011

Everything about Volkswagen’s grand opening in Chattanooga last Tuesday was precise and executed with evident foresight – like much-vaunted German auto engineering. VIPs disembarked from a charter jet at the local airport that morning to the sight of a couple dozen gleaming new Passats aligned tightly in equidistant diagonal rows on the tarmac, with black-uniformed drivers standing at the ready beside each vehicle. Hors d’oeuvres considerately included provincial favorites such as succotash, fried okra and peach cobbler. Plant-tour guides fastidiously avoided protectorates such as the “laser-braising” area where Volkswagen uses a proprietary technique to weld roofs to car bodies. more

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VW Re-Opens American Chapter In Tennessee

By Dale Buss May 24, 2011

If Volkswagen is going to capture much more of the U.S. market, and ever climb to the pinnacle of the worldwide automotive business, the march must begin here in Chattanooga, Tennessee. On Tuesday, Volkswagen of America is hosting a grand-opening ceremony at its $1-billion new facility in the southeastern corner of the mid-South, with dignitaries ranging from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to Martin Winterkorn, chairman of Volkswagen AG. VW is counting on the plant to become a robust platform for fulfilling North American ambitions that it had abandoned nearly a quarter-century ago when it shut its last more

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VW Execs On Hand For Chattanooga Kickoff

By Dale Buss May 24, 2011

"The future for Volkswagen begins here in Chattanooga," said Jonathan Browning (far right), CEO of Volkswagen of America, before an afternoon grand-opening ceremony that concluded with the assemblage of hundreds singing "Happy Birthday" to Volkswagen AG Chairman Martin Winterkorn. The chorus was followed by a nod to VW's extremely popular "Little Vader" TV ad introducing the Passat during the Super Bowl in February. Accompanied by a group of white-clad Storm Troopers a la Star Wars, Little Vader marched to the front of the grand-opening celebration and joined senior Volkswagen executives in "opening" a barrier that separated the ceremony facility more

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Readers Weigh Newest Beetle Masculine Appeal

By AutoObserver Staff May 2, 2011

Volkswagen has responded to lagging New Beetle sales – barely 16,000 in 2010 – by introducing a thoroughly redesigned version for 2012. Apparently, the thinking behind it was: less New Beetle, more old Beetle. That’s because the new version not only drops “New” from its name – it’s just “Beetle” now – it also, according to VW, draws its inspiration the original design created by Ferdinand Porsche in the 1930s. more

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VW Triples Profits on China, Audi Demand

By Danny King April 28, 2011

Volkswagen Group more than tripled its first-quarter profit from a year earlier, as the German automaker delivered a record number of vehicles for the first quarter on surging China demand and higher sales through its Audi division. Volkswagen also widened its production margins. The company's first-quarter earnings jumped to 1.71 billion euros ($2.52 billion) from 473 million euros a year earlier, as revenue surged 31 percent to 37.5 billion euros, Volkswagen said early Wednesday. Volkswagen delivered a first-quarter record 1.99 million vehicles, up 14 percent from a year earlier. more

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VW Beetle Breaks Out of Its Shell

By Nick Kurczewski April 19, 2011

The 2012 Beetle is now longer, wider and lower than the uber-adorable model it replaces. Shown to the media Monday morning, prior to its debut at this week’s New York Auto Show, Volkswagen is pinning its hopes that a more "masculine" version of the Beetle strikes the right chord with car buyers. The German company has bold ambitions to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018, and plans to triple its U.S. sales to 800,000 units annually. more

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