VW hits top gear with record sales and a new line-up, writes Stuart Martin
AN ANNUAL sales record that has stood for more than four decades has been broken by Volkswagen Australia, with two months of sales yet to be added to the tally.
The sales peak was previously hit in 1963, when the company sold about 32,000 vehicles, mostly Beetles and some Kombis.
Volkswagen Australia spokesman Karl Gehling says the brand is on target for a tally of close to 40,000 well before the end of the year.
‘‘We are going to achieve a record for Australia. We have overtaken our previous record of about 32,000 with a couple of months to go.
‘‘We’ll wait and see. I won’t put a number on it,’’ he says.
While the 2010 number is looking good for the German brand, the 2011 calendar has nine new or refreshed models turning up in VW dealerships, including the new Amarok lightcommercial, the Touareg SUV, Passat sedan and wagon, the updated Eos convertible and the new Jetta.
The Golf range will grow to include the frugal BlueMotion model early next year. But the BlueMotion catalogue could be expanded if the company sees demand for the frugal Passat BlueMotion passenger sedan.
The model recently set a world record for covering more than 2400km on one tank of fuel.
But the Australian arm of the German carmaker has no immediate plans for Passat BlueMotion in Australia.
What is coming is a new version of the Passat CC, and don’t discount another Passat R model.
Hanno Greuner, part of the technical section of the project manage- ment team, says the R line is not yet extinct. ‘‘There will be something and there are highlights in the pipeline.
‘‘ We have an R for the Golf, Scirocco and I think the R is a perfect match for Passat,’’ he says.
‘‘Increased engine size can sometimes make it difficult to satisfy exhaust emission standards. I think it will be possible to use a smaller and more powerful engine and make it more fuel-efficient.’’
The evolution of the Golf R, from a V6 to a higher-boost turbo four, points to a smaller capacity R-Series Passat with higher outputs and better economy and emissions.
‘‘ I suspect we will get more downsizing in capacity and upsizing in power output,’’ Mr Greuner says.
He says the next Passat CC will follow the new family DNA styling sequence.
‘‘There is a VW design language and the next CC will speak that same language,’’ he says, despite refusing to elaborate.
Volkswagen on a roll: the Amarok ute is one of nine new VW models coming to dealers next year.