VW Planning Additional Shifts to Meet Demand for New Golf

Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, is planning additional production to meet demand for the new version of its best-selling Golf hatchback which went on sale at the end of last year.

Orders for the new model, which arrived in showrooms in Germany in November, have exceeded 100,000 cars, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a statement today. The main Wolfsburg factory will add three Saturday shifts before the end of March to build 2,000 additional cars, the company said.

Deliveries of the Golf model totaled 800,000 vehicles last year, making it the best-selling model in Europe, the company said. The Golf has led sales in the region for the past nine years, VW said.

Volkswagen may start to take a hit from low demand in Europe as the region heads into its sixth consecutive year of decline. The brand’s sales in Germany, the biggest market in Europe, fell 23 percent in December amid a 16 percent drop industrywide in the country, according to the federal motor vehicle office KBA.

The combined market share of Volkswagen and its affiliated brands Audi, Seat and Skoda grew to 24.8 percent in Europe last year from 23.2 percent a year earlier, largely fending off a market decline of 8 percent.

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