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Volkswagen Aims Increased China Auto Sales

German automaker Volkswagen is the largest foreign car manufacturer in China today and it is looking to further increase its presence in the large and still growing Chinese auto market. The biggest European carmaker announced that they are expecting their auto sales in China to increase by 12 percent this year compared to 2006. The carmaker is counting on the Magotan sedan which is also known as the Volkswagen Passat, Dasher, Quantum, Santana, Corsar, Ford Versailles, Galaxy and the Royale.

In a motor show held at the North-eastern city of Changchun, Volkswagen China Group's vice president Soh Weiming said that they are expecting to sell about 800,000 Volkswagen vehicles in the country this year. Last year, Volkswagen sold 711,298 vehicles in the country.

As the auto market in China continues to grow, Volkswagen has reacted by offering more auto models in the country. Capitalizing on the marketing appeal of the brand and the increasing number of Chinese auto buyers, the German automaker has provided Chinese auto buyers with more choices. Aside from Volkswagen, Toyota is another automaker to offer more auto models in the country.

This move by carmakers into the Chinese auto market is expected since almost all large auto markets has showed signs of slowing down. In the United States, auto sales are declining although there are signs of increase for some months. The Chinese auto market though is growing and it is of utmost importance to move into the market while it is still developing into a very profitable market.

During the first half of this year, Volkswagen sales in China have risen by 25 percent compared to last year for the same period of time. The German automaker increased their sales with help from the new auto models they have introduced in the market which are the Skoda Octavia and the Audi A4. Aside from these, other Volkswagen timing belt-equipped auto models are also increasing in popularity among Chinese auto buyers.

"Volkswagen is trying to boost sales in China's market, with more models tailor-made for Chinese customers," said Huang Zherui, an analyst for CSM Asia. "The China market still has much more potential."

From January to June this year, Volkswagen has already sold 431,369 vehicles in China, a record breaking feat for the Chinese arm of the German automobile manufacturer. The Chinese auto market has increased by 22 percent for the said period. Of the entire Chinese auto market, Volkswagen has cornered 18.6 percent for the first half of the year. According to Mr. Soh, the Chinese arm of Volkswagen is aiming to stabilize their share of the Chinese auto market at 17 to 18 percent.

"The market is still growing at a very aggressive pace," Mr. Soh said. "Ten years ago only a fortune teller could tell you how good the car market would be in the following year, but now the market is pretty stable."

For the future, Volkswagen announced that they will be introducing 14 new auto models in the country by 2009. This will further increase the choice for Chinese auto buyers. This in turn, hopefully for Volkswagen, would mean increased sales in the country.

About The Author Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.
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