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Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Type Subsidiary of Volkswagen AG
Founded Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (1955)
Headquarters Herndon, Virginia, United States
Number of locations 20 "Operational Facilities" in the US
Area served North America
Key people Jonathan Browning CEO
Industry Automotive
Products Automobiles, Automotive parts
Services Automotive financial services
Owner(s) Volkswagen Group
Divisions Volkswagen of America,
Audi of America,
Bentley Motors Inc.,
Bugatti of America,
Automobili Lamborghini America LLC,
VW Credit, Inc.
Volkswagen Credit Canada

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (sometimes referred to as Volkswagen of America, abbreviated to VWoA),[1] is the North American operational headquarters, and subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group of automobile companies of Germany. VWoA is responsible for five marques: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Volkswagen cars.[2] It also controls VW Credit, Inc. (or VCI), Volkswagen's financial services and credit operations.[3] The company is headquartered in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, near Herndon.[4][5]

In Germany, the parent company Volkswagen AG is responsible for eight marques of the group, from six European countries: Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

As of March 2008, VWoA has 20 operational facilities, spanning coast to coast, and its primary objective is "to offer attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles which are competitive on an increasingly tough market and which set world standards in their respective classes".[6]

On July 16, 2008, Volkswagen AG announced plans to build its first production facility in the United States[7] since the closure of its Westmoreland Assembly Plant in 1988. The Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant was inaugurated on May 24, 2011 and currently builds the US-spec Volkswagen Passat.[8]



Formed in October 1955 in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to standardize dealership service in the United States, it grew to 909 Volkswagen dealers in the US by 1965 under the leadership of Dr. Carl Hahn. Under him and his successor as president of Volkswagen of America, J. Stuart Perkins, VW's U.S. sales grew to 569,696 cars in 1970, an all-time peak, when Volkswagen captured 7 percent of the U.S. car market and had over a thousand American dealerships. The Volkswagen Beetle was the company's best seller in the United States by a wide margin.

From then on, however, intense competition from American and Japanese automakers caused VW sales in America to fall as much as 87 percent between 1970 and 1992, despite the introduction of new front-drive models in 1975 to replace the Beetle and its rear-engined, air-cooled stablemates. As a result, the number of dealerships in the U.S. was also reduced to 630 by the mid-1990s. As of 2007, there were 596 operating Volkswagen dealerships in the country.

Westmoreland and Auburn Hills

VWoA inaugurated the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant near New Stanton, Pennsylvania, in 1978. This was the first modern venture by a foreign automaker at making cars in the USA. In 1988, the plant was closed. In the early 1980s, the manufacturing division and the sales division were merged, and Volkswagen of America moved to Troy, Michigan, as a result, settling in Auburn Hills, Michigan, in 1991 (42°38′43.2″N 83°12′55.4″W / 42.645333°N 83.215389°W / 42.645333; -83.215389 (VWoA former HQ at Auburn Hills)).

1990s uncertainties

Volkswagen of America's sales hit rock bottom in 1993, with fewer than 50,000 cars sold that year, and many observers expected VW to quit the United States. Sales began to recover the following year with the introduction of the third generation of the Golf and Jetta. By the end of the decade, thanks to effective advertising and the launch of more competitive new products, including the New Beetle in 1998, the VW brand was back on firmer ground. Volkswagen of America went on to sell 355,648 cars in 2001, its best year since 1973.


In the 2000s sales tapered off somewhat due to competition, quality issues and delays in product introductions, and VW's U.S. sales for 2005 totaled 224,195 – a reduction of about 37 percent from four years earlier. New models for the 2006 and 2007 model years, such as the Passat, Rabbit, and GTI resulted in a sales growth of 4.9% for 2006 with sales of 235,140 vehicles. Profitability still remained an issue, though; Volkswagen of America had not turned a profit for its parent company since 2002. In January 2007, Volkswagen of America president Adrian Hallmark publicly stated that he planned to get the subsidiary back to profitability in two to three years. He hoped to introduce new models for North America, and develop new marketing to encompass the whole brand as well as individual cars. Stefan Jacoby soon replaced him, and Volkswagen of America continued to look at new products to add to its lineup.

In the meantime, a new advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, helped rejuvenate VW's presence in the U.S. as well. Its ads for the fifth-generation GTI have sparked interest in the brand, not seen since the launch of the New Beetle, and ads for the fifth-generation Golf/Rabbit hatchback translated into initial strong sales for that model. Due to new air pollution rules promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the diesel powered VWs with TDI-PD technology could no longer be produced after December 31, 2006. For the 2009 model year, VW introduced a new generation of diesels, based on common rail technology. These would meet air pollution standards in all 50 states. The first of these units was made available for sale in August 2008. VW sold 2050 Jetta Sedan TDIs and 361 Jetta Sportwagen TDIs that first month.

In October 2009, Interpublic Group’s Deutsch, Los Angeles, the ad agency of renowned ad man Donny Deutsch, won Volkswagen's American advertising account - fourteen years after Deutsch had tried for VW's advertising business against Arnold Advertising. [9]

New Headquarters in Virginia

On September 6, 2007, Volkswagen of America announced it would relocate its North American headquarters to Herndon, Virginia.[10][11] Volkswagen sales are particularly strong in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as both coasts. The company indicated that it is important for them to locate in a region where their customer base is strongest. Presently, the Big Three dominate the Midwest US, especially Metro Detroit where the company was formerly located.

Volkswagen of America’s move from Auburn Hills to Herndon began in April 2008 and will be completed by the end of next year[year needed], the company said. It said that 600 of the current 1,400 staff will remain at Auburn Hills in call center, and technical services positions, while 400 jobs will be transferred to Virginia. About 150 employees in Michigan were expected to move to Herndon, Volkswagen of America President and CEO Stefan Jacoby said. The four hundred remaining jobs were to be cut.

The state of Virginia, among 14 locations that Volkswagen of America considered for the move, offered Volkswagen $6 million in incentives that will be awarded pending Volkswagen's fulfillment of employment and other various quotas.

New manufacturing plant

On July 15, 2008, after an intense, months-long battle between Huntsville, Alabama, a site in Michigan and Chattanooga, Tennessee, the company's supervisory board chose Chattanooga as the location for the new plant.[12] This $1 billion investment will be producing about 150,000 cars a year by its slated opening in 2011, playing a major role in the company's strategy to gain more than 6% of the car market, or about 800,000 cars on top of the 230,000 it produced in America in 2007, by 2018.[7][13] This plant will also become Volkswagen Group of America's manufacturing headquarters in the USA.[13] The plant was inaugurated on May 24, 2011.[14][15]

Current US facilities

As of March 2008, Volkswagen Group of America has the following 20 "Operational Facilities" across the US:[6]

  • Auburn Hills, Michigan – corporate call center & former Corporate Headquarters
  • Herndon, Virginia – new Corporate Headquarters
  • Hillsboro, Oregon – VW Credit, Inc. Center
  • Belmont, California – Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL)
  • Oxnard, California – Test Center California
  • Santa Monica, California – Design Center
  • Ontario, California – Parts Distribution Center
  • San Diego – Port/PPC
  • Maricopa, Arizona – Proving Ground
  • Golden, Colorado – VW Credit, Inc. and Technical Center
  • Fort Worth, Texas – Parts Distribution Center
  • Houston, Texas – Port/PPC and Parts Distribution Center
  • Libertyville, Illinois – VW Credit, Inc. Center
  • Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin – Parts Distribution Center
  • Jacksonville, Florida – Parts Distribution Center
  • Brunswick, Georgia – Port/PPC
  • Cranbury, New Jersey – Parts Distribution Center
  • Allendale, New Jersey – Technical Center
  • Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey – Product Liaison
  • Davisville, Rhode Island – Port/PPC
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee – Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant



Current models

The following is a list of the models currently available in the American market:

Sedans Compacts
Jetta Sedan · Passat Sedan · CC New Beetle Coupe · Golf
Tiguan · Touareg · Jetta SportWagen
Performance Convertibles
GTI · GLI Eos · New Beetle Convertible



Based on the current line of Volkswagen models available in the United States, the best-selling models, according to year-to-date sales, are as follows (Numbers of 2009):

Rank Model Name Jan[16] Feb[17] Mar[18] Apr[19] May[20] Total
1 Jetta Sedan** 5,285 5,199 6,263 4,937 8,992 30,676
2 CC 1,072 1,808 2,351 1,640 1,419 8,290
3 Routan 663 503 1,029 2,606 1,390 6,191
4 Jetta SportWagen 953 784 1,128 1,084 1,605 5,554
5 Tiguan 762 871 1,235 1,206 1,133 5,207
6 Passat Sedan 940 761 781 861 851 4,194
7 New Beetle Coupe 573 899 517 1,467 602 4,058
8 Rabbit 823 666 698 610 611 3,408
9 Eos 369 510 493 597 1,009 2,978
10 GTI 542 479 461 475 857 2,814
11 New Beetle Convertible 221 374 317 379 570 1,861
12 Touareg 314 510 236 239 300 1,599
13 Passat Wagon 192 211 205 182 228 1,018
14 R32 35 85 6 6 1 133
Totals 12,744 13,660 15,720 16,289 19,568 77,981

**Note: Includes sales of Volkswagen GLI performance vehicle


The total number of new vehicle sales year-by-year in the U.S. market is as follows:

Calendar Year Total American sales
2000[21] 355,479
2001 355,648
2002[22] 338,125
2003 302,686
2004[23] 256,111
2005[24] 224,195
2006 235,140
2007[25] 230,572
2008[26] 223,128
2009[27] 213,454
2010[28] 256,830
2011[29] 324,402
2012[30] 438,133

Future models

The following models are planned or considered to be introduced to the American market by 2015:[31]

  • Eos Mk2 (2015)
  • Golf Mk7 (2014)
  • Jetta Mk7 (2015)
  • Phaeton Mk2 (2013)
  • Polo Mk5 (2012)
  • Tiguan Mk2 (2015)
  • up! (2012)


Current models

The following is a list of the models currently available in the American market:

  • A3
  • A4
  • A5
  • A6
  • A7
  • A8
  • Q5
  • Q7
  • R8
  • S4
  • S6
  • S8
  • TT


Calendar Year Total American sales
1995[32] 18,124
1996[32] 27,379
1997[33] 34,160
1998[34] 47,517
1999[35] 65,959
2000[36] 80,372
2001[37] 83,283
2002 85,726
2003[38] 86,421
2004 77,917
2005[39] 83,066
2006[40] 90,116
2007[41] 93,506
2008[42] 87,760
2009[42] 82,716
2010 101,629
2011[43] 117,570


Current models

The following is a list of the models currently available in the American market:


The only vehicle under the Bugatti label is the Bugatti Veyron.


Current models

The following is a list of the models currently available in the American market:

  • Gallardo
  • Aventador

See also


  1. "Trademark Usage Guide". Volkswagen AG. Retrieved on November 4, 2009.
  2. About the Company Volkswagen Group of America
  3. VW Credit, Inc. Volkswagen Group of America
  4. "Contact Us." Volkswagen Group of America. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  5. "Herndon town, Virginia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Group Overview Volkswagen Group of America
  7. 7.0 7.1 Volkswagen wants slice of American pie
  8. [1] Chattanooga Times Free Press
  9. [2]
  10. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (September 6, 2007). "Volkswagen of America, Inc. Announces new strategic direction, move to Virginia and restructure of U.S. operations", Retrieved on . 
  11. Goldfarb, Zachary (September 6, 2007). "Volkswagen Moving to Herndon", Washington Post. Retrieved on 2007-09-11. 
  12. [3] Chattanooga Times and Free
  13. 13.0 13.1 [4] Chattanooga Times and Free
  14. Volkswagen (May 24, 2011). "Volkswagen Inaugurates New Plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee", Retrieved on . 
  15. Woodyard, Chris (May 24, 2011). "Pint-sized Darth Vader blesses Volkswagen's U.S. factory", USA Today. Retrieved on 2011-05-24. 
  16. "Volkswagen Reports January 2009 Sales" (February 3, 2009). 
  17. "Volkswagen Reports February 2009 Sales" (March 3, 2009). 
  18. "Volkswagen Reports March 2009 Sales" (April 1, 2009). 
  19. "Volkswagen Reports April 2009 Sales" ([dead link]) (May 1, 2009). 
  20. "Volkswagen Reports May 2009 Sales" (June 2, 2009). 
  21. "Volkswagen Reports December Sales". (November 17, 2004). Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  22. "Volkswagen Reports December 2003 Sales". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  23. "Volkswagen Reports 19.1% Increase for December 2004 Sales". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  24. "Volkswagen brand posts year-to-date increase of 4.9 percent". (November 17, 2004). Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  25. "Volkswagen USA Reports December 2008 Sales Down 14% From 2007". (November 17, 2004). Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  26. "Volkswagen Reports December 2008 Sales" (January 5, 2009). 
  27. "Volkswagen Reports December 2009 Sales" (January 5, 2010). 
  31. "Upcoming Volkswagen Models, Lineup to get Less German – Car News" (June 6, 2009). 
  32. 32.0 32.1 "Audi's December Sales Best in a Decade – 1996 Best Year Since 1987". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  33. "Audi Achieves Best Sales Year in Twelve Years – Best December Since 1985 With 55.9 Percent Increase". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  34. "Audi Finishes 1999 With Best Sales Results in 14 Years And Best December Ever". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  35. "Audi Breaks All-Time U.S. Sales Record". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  36. "Audi Breaks All-Time U.S. Sales Record – 2nd Consecutive Year; Best A4 Month Ever". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  37. "Audi Breaks All-Time U.S. Sales Record For Third Consecutive Year". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  38. "Audi of America, Inc. Reports 2004 Sales". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  39. "Audi of America Reports 2005 Sales of 83,066 – Up By 6.6%". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  40. "U.S. car and light-truck sales by make – December 2006 (Ranked by total sales)".
  41. "Audi Increases Market Share for December and 2008". Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  42. 42.0 42.1 "U.S. car and light-truck sales by make – December 2009 (Ranked by total sales)".

External links

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