In light of a faltering automotive industry and a worldwide fiscal slump, Volkswagen's goal of selling 10 million vehicles worldwide annually by 2018 seemed more than a little ambitious. Remarkably, it seems VW isn't deterred -- in fact, new reports suggest the German auto giant is pushing to achieve that metric three years ahead of schedule.
In a new report, Bloomberg says anonymous sources within the company confirm VW plans on accelerating its plan by three years, moving the 10-million-car target to 2015, while setting an intermediate goal of 8 million cars for 2012. Last year, Volkswagen delivered 6.29 million vehicles worldwide, marking a 1.1-percent increase over 2008. Toyota, however, still remains king -- it sold 7.81 million vehicles globally in 2009, although that figure was a marked 13-percent decline from the year prior.
Two markets -- North America and China -- are key to the automaker's future plans. VW will soon spend roughly $8.4 billion to construct two new factories in China, allowing it to double its production capacity in that market to 3 million vehicles within the next four years. Volkswagen's Chinese operation witnessed a staggering 39-percent growth in the first three quarters of 2010, helping bolster VW's global market share to 11.4 percent.
In North America, VW's efforts largely surround the United States market. The automaker has officially announced a sales goal of 800,000 cars annually in the U.S. alone, which accounts for a sizable 8 percent of its global sales goal. Volkswagen is increasing capacity by constructing a new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which will build the forthcoming New Midsize Sedan for the U.S., along with another yet-to-be-revealed model.
Volkswagen itself has yet to confirm the shifting timetable of its global ambitions, but rest assured it won't be upset if it hits these metrics ahead of schedule.
"We're keeping to our 2018 target," VW spokesman Michael Brendel told Bloomberg, "but we do not rule out that the goal can be achieved earlier."