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VW hopes new Golf will rev sales

Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - 02:09

Sept.05 - Volkswagen has just launched the seventh generation of the Golf, Europe's most popular car model, but will new vehicles be enough to solve the problems of Europe's struggling car industry? Joanna Partridge reports

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A revamp of a popular classic. Volkswagen's pinning its hopes on its new Golf. The seventh generation of Europe's best-selling car was unveiled with great fanfare in Berlin. VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn even got behind the wheel himself. He hopes Europe's biggest carmaker can get cash-strapped consumers to splash out. SOUNDBITE: Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen CEO, saying (English): "We've done it again. This car is the most beautiful, the best and the greenest Golf we've ever built. And this car is the pride of all our 520,000 colleagues worldwide as well as for me personally." VW hopes the madeover Golf will sell as well as its predecessors. Over 29 million Golfs have been driven home worldwide since its launch in 1974. Christoph Stuermer is an auto analyst at IHS Global Insight. SOUNDBITE: Christoph Stuemer, Auto analyst at IHS Global Insight, saying (English): "Volkswagen follows a strategy to win market share when the markets are shrinking, and to win volume when the markets are rising. The new Golf is a perfect vehicle to win market share so it is a winner for VW." VW has reported record deliveries and higher profits while rivals have struggled. But auto sales are still sluggish in Europe and are slowing in China, and Stuermer says carmakers need to adapt. SOUNDBITE: Christoph Stuemer, Auto analyst at IHS Global Insight, saying (English): "Overcapacity is not a global issue, but it is a local issue, of local misconception, of local mismatch of demand and production capabilites. The auto industry in Europe needs a fundamental, thorough modernisation in terms of how they run their capacities, and if they do it right, they can sell all the cars that they can build." And VW think its best-selling model can help it in its quest to overtake both GM and Toyota and become the world's biggest carmaker. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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VW hopes new Golf will rev sales

Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - 02:09