Volkswagen of America is hoping the introduction of the all-new GTI and Golf models — as well as revisions to the Jetta — slated to reach in showrooms this spring will help reignite the brand’s sputtering sales in the U.S. market.
The seventh-generation Golf is already a hit in Europe but VW decided to delay its North American launch a year, a move many analysts believe contributed to a sharp decline in its U.S. sales last year after several years of rapid growth.
The surge began in 2010 and saw VW sell more than 400,000 units in the American market for the first time in 40 years. But progress stalled last year as sales plunged 7% despite the overall U.S. market reaching its highest point since before the recession began. The downturn was considered a major factor behind the ouster of Volkswagen Group of America CEO Jonathan Browning, even though the maker’s smaller Audi brand achieved a Cinderella-like comeback that saw it set all-time U.S. sales records.