VWUPS the ante on small

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

ANY­ONE who thought Volk­swa­gen might be rest­ing on its lau­rels af­ter a fre­netic 2011 will have had their mind changed.

Af­ter re­vamp­ing the bulk of its list last year, the Ger­man gi­ant will in­vade the light car mar­ket with its Up and manag­ing di­rec­tor Anke Koeck­ler has con­firmed a start­ing price be­low $15,000 when it ar­rives on Oc­to­ber.

‘‘We’ll be launch­ing the Up, which will have a ma­jor im­pact on how we are per­ceived by Aus­tralians,’’ she says.

‘‘We will have a car which will be po­si­tioned and priced un­der $15,000, so you can en­ter the VW (mar­ket) with a car un­der $15,000.’’

VWis aim­ing to main­tain its pre­mium po­si­tion but with sharp pric­ing, which is likely to mean price re­struc­tur­ing for the Skoda brand to main­tain the cur­rent hi­er­ar­chy.

‘‘We have to look at the pric­ing to make sure Skoda is not priced above Volk­swa­gen — that’s some­thing we have to look at,’’ Ms Koeck­ler says.

‘‘Skoda is get­ting new and more mod­els but we have to make sure it’s priced and po­si­tioned un­der VW — this is now the world­wide strat­egy.’’

So far this year, the com­pany is ahead of its sales tar­gets and is now see­ing the re­sults of its new-model as­sault on the Aus­tralian mar­ket last year.

So far this year, the VW brand in to­tal is 31 per cent up year-to-date — more than 6400 ve­hi­cles — with dou­ble or triple-digit per­cent­age growth over 2011 fig­ures by Tiguan, Touareg and Pas­sat, among oth­ers.

‘‘All the launches from last year are pay­ing off and we are see­ing the sig­nif­i­cant im­pact now in the sales now,’’ Ms Koeck­ler says.

‘‘At a cer­tain stage there might be some con­sol­i­da­tion, but we’re still look­ing for a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease be­cause of the model im- pact . . . we are ahead of bud­get and fore­cast.’’

Strong per­for­mances in the SUV seg­ment — par­tic­u­larly from the Tiguan com­pact SUV — bode well for the brand.

‘‘We wanted to do this ear­lier but we are wait­ing un­til the end of the year for the Pas­sat All­track, it might have a good suc­cess­ful niche as we can see with the Subaru Out­back, a key com­peti­tor for that car, that’s on sale in Novem­ber,’’ Ms Koeck­ler says.

The ar­rival of Volk­swa­gen’s New Bee­tle has been post­poned un­til early 2013, but next year’s key will be the ar­rival of the next Golf, a ma­jor model for theVWbrand.

‘‘The new Golf Mk 7 will be un­veiled at the Paris Mo­tor Show — it’s our plan to have it on sale here in the first half of 2013,’’ Ms Koeck­ler says.

The VW Up, aimed at tack­ling the com­pact end of the mar­ket

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.