It seems that Volkswagen had enough Toyota leadership on the US market. This is why the German maker will do its best to have more to say in here. And the first it will do is to cut pricing and add new models: 12 new models to be more exactly.

"We have definitely added too many technical items that [American] customers don’t want to pay for," Mr. Winterkorn said in an interview. He cited Volkswagen’s tendency to equip U.S. models with external mirrors that fold inward to account for narrow streets and tiny parking spaces. "Who needs that in the U.S.? The streets there are so wide," he said.

Volkswagen plans to offer models more by the "US taste" meaning cheaper ones. The Jetta starts at about $17,000 in the U.S., while the Passat starts for roughly $23,900. Toyota’s Corolla is priced about $15,200, while the larger Camry starts at about $20,000.

Between now and 2010 Volkswagen is betting it can increase its sales by roughly 30%, from about six million this year to eight million in 2010. Although Volkswagen’s targets have drawn skepticism, Mr. Winterkorn says the growth is possible partly because of a new, more centralized management structure that he says allows quicker decisions.

Between now and 2010, Volkswagen plans to add 12 models to its global lineup. The company is keen on launching more vehicles in new segments, such as a new compact sport-utility vehicle called the Tiguan. Mr. Winterkorn said much of the sales growth at Toyota, which sold 8.5 million vehicles last year, has come from its expansion into nontraditional segments, such as SUVs, pickup trucks and multipurpose vehicles, which are similar to minivans.

Source: Walt Street Journal

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