Volkswagen, Bentley. Volkswagen carved a niche for its

Volkswagen, often abbreviated as VW, was
established by the German Labour Front and Adolf Hitler in 1937 with
headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is translated as a German word
for “people’s car”. Other car brands that form part of the business group
include: VW, SEAT, Lamborghini, Audi, Skoda, Bugatti and Bentley.

Volkswagen carved a niche for its Golf model
in years preceding 1980, after sales in the United States and Canada plummeted
dramatically notwithstanding successes in other parts of the world due to an
aggressive price-based competition from the Japanese and American automakers.

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As a result of the unfavourable rivalry, new
business strategies from Chairman Carl Hahn inspired VW’s closure of its
factories in Pennsylvania and New Stanton, with expansion drive focused on
developing countries, notably, Mexico, China, Malaysia, Portugal, Belgium and
Brazil. Changes in model designs continued until 2002, when Bernd
Pischetsrieder became VW Chief Executive Officer until reins of leadership was
handed to Audi Worldwide CEO, Martin Winterkorn in 2007.

The GTI model won Consumer Reports first-place award for the Top Sporty Car under
$25,000 as well as one of top 10 from Car
and Driver magazine’s selection for the year 2007. In the same year, it won
Automobile Magazine’s Car of the Year,
with another recognition from Motor Trend
which ranked the company’s mid-size Passat as best in its class in 2008. In
December 2017, the model has won Our 10
Best Car awards for 12 consecutive years (2), having held position as North
America’s Car of the Year 2015. (3)

VW Group’s partnership with renowned
technology giants ushered in top-notch diesel engines which was rated 4 out of
10 other brands by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency although a strict
emissions regulation from the government forced VW to abandon its flagship
diesel engines in its engine line-up until 2009, when the German automaker
introduced new diesel engines manufactured in compliance with the American
standards but were limited to functioning on only 5 percent biodiesel to
maintain Volkswagen’s warranty.

Following the gas emissions scandal which
affected VW diesel cars in 2015, the carmaker has struggled to stay afloat with
competitors in the global market. By April 2016, global deliveries were reduced
by 2.7%, the 16th drop within a period of 18 months, and an
extension of its fall in first-quarter sales to 1.3% or an approximated 1.46
million cars. (4) Demand for VW brand models also nosedived 2% in Western
Europe, 10% in the United States, but recorded increased sales up to 3.6% in
China, the company said.

Referring to the frenzied auctioning of VW
cars by British owners after the scandal, Rupert Pontin, head of a price data
firm Glass’s, said in a statement: “…It is fair to say that there are also
others who are less concerned and are essentially standing by the brand and its
products.” (5)

Here are some pictorial presentations on VW
market shares, sales and production


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