VWhits record high

VOLK­SWA­GEN has blitzed a sales record set four decades ago, writes STU­ART MARTIN

NT News - Motoring - - NEWS -

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, with some Kom­bis.

Volk­swa­gen Aus­tralia’s 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, as of this month (Oc­to­ber) we have over­taken our pre­vi­ous record of around 32,000 with a cou­ple of months to go,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll wait and see. I won’t put a num­ber on it.’’

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 light-com­mer­cial, 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 fu­el­con­serv­ing 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 car maker 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 tech­ni­cal sec­tion of Project Man­age­ment Team, says the R line is not yet ex­tinct.

‘‘There will be some­thing,’’ he said 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. 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.’’

Evo­lu­tion of the Golf R, from a V6 to a higher-boost turbo four, also points to a smaller-ca­pac­ity R-Se­ries Pas­sat.

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