published Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Volkswagen sales up 35%

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    Rows of new Passats await delivery at the Chattanooga Volkswagen manufacturing plant at the Enterprise South industrial park.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
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Led by record sales of its Chattanooga-made Passat, Volkswagen boosted its U.S. sales last month by nearly 35 percent over the same month a year ago.

VW said it sold 10,032 Passats during March, its best month ever for the midsized sedan. VW sold more of its Chattanooga-made Passats last month than the company sold of its European-made Passats in all of 2010.

Volkswagen also sold 12,947 of its Jetta Sedan vehicles last month, helping to boost VW's overall U.S. sales in March to 36,588 units.

Last month's sales marked the best March for Volkswagen sales in the U.S. since 1973 and was the sixth consecutive month in which VW has reported at least a 30 percent sales gain from the prior year.

Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, said the "robust first quarter" of 2012 should continue through the rest of the year. The Passat, which was named the Motor Trend Car of the Year in 2011, is helping VW establish a bigger U.S. presence toward its eventual goal of selling more than 1 million vehicles in the American market by 2018, Browning said in announcing the March sales results.

"We are poised for continued growth this calendar year," he said. "The new Passat has become a true success story, and it's having a great impact across our company here in the U.S."

Volkswagen announced last month it will add another shift and 800 more jobs at its $1 billion assembly plant in Chattanooga.

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