The Volkswagen Group topped more than 10 million sales in 2014 for the first time, reaching a target it had originally set for 2018.
Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn revealed the sales figures on the eve of the Detroit motor show. The 10.14m vehicles sold by the VW Group is a 4.2 per cent increase on the 9.73m vehicles it sold in 2013.
VW had set itself the target of 10m sales by 2018, but it reached it four years early despite what Winterkorn described as “difficult” market conditions.
Winterkorn also confirmed that a renewed focus by the VW brand in North America would include a long-wheelbase version of the Tiguan for the first time in 2017.
It will join the new US-built, MQB-based seven-seat SUV due for production by the end of 2016 in an expanded range of VW SUVs.
VW’s Detroit show star is a plug-in hybrid GTE version of its previous Cross Coupe concept. Winterkorn said such a model would be desirable for production, particularly in the US, thanks to its “beautiful” looks and “high-tech” nature.
The US market was the focus of Winterkorn’s speech. He revealed that Volkswagen Group sales in North America totalled 600,000 units in 2014 and a million sales a year had been set as the target for 2018.
VW North America CEO Michael Horn revealed that 500 examples of the Golf R put on sale in the US online had sold out within 12 hours.
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