There are 17 models on Volkswagen’s books, but Golf does the bulk of the heavy lifting. The popular hatch is up 17pc for the year and accounts for 37pc of the brand’s sales. Golf and Polo together account for almost all of VW’s 11.9pc rise YTD. However, the emissions scandal is clearly taking its toll locally because the German brand’s sales fell 6pc in October.
It’s all about the Tiguan in 2016. It is outsold by at least eight mid-size rivals and VW hopes the arrival of the second-gen model in the first half of the year will bump it up the pecking order. Golf should get some pricing and marketing love as the small-car segment heats up. Volkswagen also has a full year with the new Passat, a car priced to take a larger slice of the medium segment dominated by Toyota’s Camry.
Regaining trust after the cheating scandal. But the early part of 2016 will see Volkswagen trying to look after existing customers, taking the focus off winning potential new buyers. Also, Amarok is under pressure from newer utes, while Golf fights in a declining segment; almost two-thirds of VW sales are traditional passenger cars, which are in gradual decline. SUVs account for 35pc of total sales, but only 16pc of Volkswagen volume.
A problem child. School reports aren’t just about results, but how the kid behaves in class. And we’re tipping VW would have been given the cane in days of old. It’s sailing through uncharted waters so must continue to navigate carefully, with customer service paramount. Dealers, too, will be distracted dealing with fixing 80,000 cars. Uncertain future, but very strong product.