VW discusses ambitious brand realignment for US market
Despite woes stemming from the emissions cheating scandal that it’s currently mired in, Volkswagen is embarking on an ambitious new product strategy for the US, its most market in the long term.
“We believe that the USA has in fact the greatest potential for Volkswagen worldwide in the next decade,” said Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess at a press conference in Germany. It was reported on by Automotive News, who calls the plan a far-fetched “miracle view.”
Diess then continued, “We didn’t succeed in giving the brand a clear profile and consistent product portfolio that could allow us to expand step by step in the market.” However, the long-term strategy goes well beyond balancing out a sedan-centric lineup with upcoming products like midsize crossover and a long-wheelbase Tiguan.
Instead, Diess wants VW to target a demographic he’s calling the “aspirational middle class.” This includes those who harbor positive feelings about iconic cars like the original Beetle and Microbus. However, Diess’s team is still waiting on a strategy from the parent company on how to prevent that from stepping on the toes of brands such as Audi.
In the meantime, though, Volkswagen is still dealing with a massive blow to its brand image. Diess was starkly aware of this, adding, “naturally not in the near future, since we are starting from zero in the U.S.”