Saturday, July 26, 2014 · 1:06 a.m.
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Volkswagen leaders are working to position the company to become the largest automaker by 2018. (Photo: Staff)

This week, Autoblog.com highlighted Volkswagen's corporate structure and leaders' aims to become the world's largest car manufacturer by 2018. 

In the article, writer John McElroy discussed the company's unique, sometimes seemingly inefficient, business operations. He wrote about how Volkswagen operates similarly to how General Motors did when it was the biggest, most profitable worldwide corporation. 

Despite overlap, duplication and a large number of brands, Volkswagen has seen more sales success lately than it has had since the '70s. 

In May 2011, Volkswagen opened its Chattanooga plant. At that time, leaders said the opening represented a major milestone for the company and a big step toward its 2018 goals. 

For Volkswagen leaders, the grand opening was about sending a message, CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga Frank Fischer said.

“The message is that we are now producing vehicles in the U.S., and we are now back in the U.S., that this factory is completely dedicated to passion for detail and that we will have excellent cars out of Chattanooga," he said, according to archives. 

In March of this year, local VW leaders said they added more than 1,000 jobs in 2012, bringing the total number of employees to more than 3,000. That's more than VW leaders initially promised for Chattanooga. 

The increase in employees was needed to keep up with demand and production. 

In July of this year, leaders announced their soaring sales and said they had the best first half of a year since July 1973.

And that trend has continued.

This month, leaders said their momentum continued to build. 

Volkswagen of America leaders reported they sold 36,728 vehicles in November. That's a 29.3 percent increase over last year's sales and a 35 percent year-to-date increase. 

"Volkswagen continued its oft-sung refrain of best month since 1973," Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with Edmunds.com, said in a prepared statement this month. "With a 29 percent gain over last November, the beefy year-to-year comparisons will have to come down eventually, but for now, Volkswagen is on a roll."

Volkswagen's main goal is to increase the company's market share. By 2018, they want to sell 1 million vehicles per year, officials have said, according to archives. 

Part of that plan involves the Chattanooga-made Volkswagen Passat—a car that was designed and priced to reach a larger portion of the American market. 

At about $20,000, the new car is about $7,000 less than the previous model. 

Autoblog.com reported that the company employs 549,300 people worldwide and that Fortune Magazine ranked VW as the eighth-largest employer in the world, in the top 10 with corporations such as Walmart. 

Although auto analysts have told Nooga.com in the past that the company's goals are not impossible, but certainly lofty, McElroy ends his article by wondering "how many of VW's competitors are even aware of what they are up against." 

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