Wednesday, April 05, 2006

GTI Backlog to Shorten for Australia

Text from The Age.
Volkswagen Group Australia has moved to prevent the popular Golf GTI becoming a victim of its own success.

The company announced at the recent Passat launch that its backlog of some 800 hot hatch customers will be cleared by June, following an agreement with the factory to increase production for Australia.

"We've had an ongoing drama with the Golf GTI," said VGA managing director Jutta Dierks.

"Customers had to wait months - we couldn't even really say when they would get their car and we are still sitting on 800 orders which are not scheduled to go into production.

"But as we speak today, we have an agreement with headquarters that all these 800 cars are going into production as quickly as possible. Some of them will go into production today, but the last cars will be produced by the end of June and will be here eight weeks later."

Ms Dierks said the waiting time for VW's new Golf GTI - which had been as long as six months - would be dramatically cut as a result, following flak from customers.

"It's spoken a bit for the brand that people waited so long for the car. But I think we should not over-extend the patience of our customers. It has stretched the friendship. There has been a lot of heat from customers.

"I can tell you it was a major drama for us. It was not easy - it took some time to work it out. We want to sell them, to increase our market share and to see them on the streets."

Ms Dierks added that VGA has also reached agreement with the factory to increase production throughout July and beyond, to ensure that Golf GTI supplies remain consistent thereafter.

"If we solve one order bank problem we don't want to build up a new order bank, so we actually have more production through July and the coming months, which is another agreement we're quite happy about.

"So every single customers that comes in today ... his car is going into the production of July. Even customers who come later still have a chance to have their cars produced in July, which means we're more or less back to normal," she said.

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