Thursday, July 28, 2005

Golf GTI Sales Blazing

Text from The Courier-Mail.
The hottest newcomer since Volkswagen took direct control in Australia turns out to be too hot for its own good.

Sales of the new Golf GTI are blazing, creating a six-month waiting list.

Volkswagen Group Australia is doing everything it can to get extra cars, and has managed to keep pace with demand for other popular models including the Golf turbodiesel and FSI, but admits that customers are having to wait.

It is now pushing for extra stocks in 2006 and says the success of the GTI, apart from the waiting list, is giving the German carmaker a big push and will help it go beyond 9000 Australian sales this year.

"It is a good hero car for the brand. We're now working out how to manage the success of that car," says Matthew Wiesner of Volkswagen Group Australia.

"Demand is very strong but we're doing everything we can to get cars. We are talking to customers and working to make the experience as positive as possible.

"It is something that we haven't experienced before. We're trying to treat it as a positive But there will always be people who want to get into their car today."

VGA has had several lifts in its Golf allocation since the arrival of the new car this year, but is fighting other countries for supplies and admits that customer orders will not be filled until around March next year. There are some cars in stock, but special orders will mean delays.

"Golf generally is fine. The concerns with turbodiesel and FSI have abated. GTI is the one where we are trying to get hold of more allocation," Wiesner says.

"We've been continually lifting production. We're probably in excess of 20 per cent of where we were at launch.

"It's just a matter of us continuing to put the pressure on."

He says the situation with the Golf GTI is not confined to Australia because of the mechanical package in the car.

"The global demand for that car has been completely unprecedented. From what we are seeing in the UK and Europe, it just has not stopped.

"GTI was launched there in October last year and in those 10 months it is still roaring along as it was when it was launched.

"It's a couple of key things with the GTI. It's the demand for the engine and the DSG transmission, which is not just on that car but also across other Volkswagen models and Audi too," he says.

Wiesner also says that VGA has banked the boost in diesel sales as the price of petrol has soared.

"The severe fuel price movements have definitely worked in our favour. It has been a great surprise that the market has accepted it so well. It is genuine incremental business."

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