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Auto blogSun, 13 Jan 2013 18:00:00 EST
The last time Volkswagen moved this many vehicles in America in one year, Richard Nixon was still a President in good standing, Let It Be was a radio hit and each car wearing the VW badge boasted an air-cooled engine. That's right, with a grand total of 580,286 vehicles sold in the US last year, the VW Group has broken its own four-decades-old sales record by 2,899 vehicles.
Of that 580k total sold, 438k were Volkswagens and 139k were Audi products - increases of 35.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively, in year-over-year sales. The ultra-premium members of the VW group also fared well; Bentley delivered 2,315 vehicles for a 23.3-precent increase, and Lamborghini delivered 520 units for a 52.9-percent jump. Bugatti, we're told is "right on track."
Jetta (pictured) sales paced the marque with 170k models sold, and Passat also finished very strong with sales of 117k total. Tiguan also racked up its best year on file, with 31,731 models shifted.
The 61st edition of The 12 Hours of Sebring is on, and Autoblog has come to central Florida with Audi to feast on jumbo boiled peanuts, pickled eggs and the final race for the LMP1 class at the oldest road course in North America. As Audi has been doing for more than a decade now, it's brought its latest endurance race car, the 2013-spec R18 etron quattro, to Sebring to begin testing for Le Mans.
Why the commitment to Sebring? Audi Sport executives have repeatedly called Sebring "punishing," "extremely demanding" and "one of the toughest tracks in the world." It is a 3.47-mile circuit that, in places, feels like it was made from the leftover bits of other circuits. Doing the 12-hour distance in Florida is thought to be a good start on lasting the 24-hour distance in France, and we can't think it a coincidence that Audi has won ten times here in the last 13 years and 11 times in Gaul.
Where there's rhyme - and victory - there is reason. We think we found a few of them on our first day where preparation, technology, fastidious attention to detail and sweat fit right in with swamp cabbage...
Cadillac and Buick have taken the trophies in J.D. Power's latest Customer Service Index Study examining satisfaction with dealer service. Surveying more than 90,000 owners and lessees of 2009-2013 model-year cars, the study found that those with pre-paid maintenance packages were ten percent more likely to buy their next car from the same brand.
Dealer satisfaction scores have improved overall, Cadillac nabbed the luxury segment ahead of Audi and Lexus, taking the crown that Lexus held last year. Buick keeps the mass-market dealer satisfaction win in the family, finishing ahead of Volkswagen and last year's winner GMC. The study also found that service department use of tablets increased customer satisfaction, as did "best practices" like "providing helpful advice." Who knew?
You can find details on those and more findings in the press release below.