Posted by: David Kiley on September 10, 2008
Bloomberg: Volkswagen AG said demand for the diesel-powered Jetta may be stronger than forecast since the car’s Aug. 18 U.S. debut, a step toward bucking this year’s industrywide sales slump.
“It certainly met and probably exceeded our expectations,” Mark Barnes, chief operating officer of Volkswagen of America Inc., said today in an interview. He didn’t say what the Herndon, Virginia-based unit projected.
August U.S. sales of the diesel Jetta totaled 2,417, helping pace a 29 percent gain for the model to 11,217. Last month’s diesel share, 21 percent, should rise to more than 35 percent of the total by this month, Barnes said.
Diesel-powered vehicles are part of the plan by Europe’s biggest automaker to reach 1 million U.S. sales by 2018. That would more than triple 2007’s total for the Wolfsburg, Germany- based automaker and its Audi and Bentley units.