DOHA: Qatar has topped the Volkswagen’s sales story in the Middle East with a record 58 percent growth in 2013 year-on-year, while the region registering a 30 percent growth during the year. To spruce up its success saga in 2014, the German automobile giant plans to launch Golf R and open new showrooms, including one in Qatar.
“The Volkswagen Passat was the key driver for the outstanding performance in 2013 with 3,000 cars,” said Thomas Milz (pictured), Managing Director, Volkswagen, Middle East. The total sales figure in 2013 was 14,000 units and Qatar accounted for 1,300 cars, he said.
Touareg also does decent sales in the region with a sales figure of 3,000 units. In addition to the best-selling Passat, Touareg and the popular Tiguan, the addition of the seventh generation Golf and Golf GTI to the model line-up has also contributed to this growth.
Volkswagen will open a new showroom during Qatar Motor Show, which is scheduled to be held in Doha in February. Qatar already has a sales showroom on Salwa Road and a service and parts centre in the Industrial Area.
“We have heavy plans for Qatar. We will be launching quick and express service centres in Qatar to deliver better and speedy services for our customers,” said Kevin Hughes, General Manager, Q-Auto, Volkswagen.
Volkswagen has also got major plans to strengthen its sales and service network in the Middle East with four new showrooms and quick service centres coming up in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah. It has also got new plans for Kuwait and Beirut.
“We have a market share of two to three percent in the Middle East, we really need to double it. We have right network, right partners, right people and right products to achieve that target,” said Milz.
Volkswagen, the largest producer of passenger cars in 2012 with more than 8.5 million cars made, will launch Golf R, a completely new car with specific needs of the Middle East customers in mind towards the latter part of the year.
It will also bring face-lifts to the successful Passat and Touareg this year that will complement the lifestyle and fun-oriented customers of the region with more striking and sportier design and power.
Keeping in mind the region’s SUV-loving customers, Volkswagen is set to launch a seven-seater vehicle into the market. “This is something that can happen in one or two years as we are focusing a long-term plan for the region,” Milz said.
“We have invested heavily for the last two years in the region. We invested in facilities, network expansion, training people, resources and products. Now, we are harvesting our fruits. We have a constant growth in the Middle East and Qatar contributed in a major way to this growth story,” Milz said.