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.May 26, 2004
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The Sharan: A Long-Term Success Story

No. 1 In Its Class: 21.0 Percent Market Share In The First Quarter 2004



Photo: VW

Wolfsburg - Into the tenth year of production and still going strong: The Sharan remains Germany's favourite van in its segment. In the first quarter 2004, the people carrier achieved a market share of 21.0 percent, thereby further underlining its leading position in the B-MPV segment.

A success story with a long tradition: Production of the first generation Sharan started in early 1995. Barely a year after the start of production in the Setubal Plant in Southern Portugal, the new Volkswagen van was already leaving its competitors behind with 29,000 units sold. The Sharan has since revealed itself to be a bestseller in the B-MPV segment. According to official figures, more than 22,000 Sharan were registered in Germany in the last year alone. This represents a market share of 26.6 percent - a trend which is continuing strongly in 2004.

The diesel engine versions are particularly popular: One in two Sharan on Germany's roads is powered by the 1.9 l turbodiesel with 96 kW/130 h.p., while a further third features the 1.9 l TDI with 85 kW/115 h.p. Of the various equipment levels, the "Comfortline" is proving most popular, closely followed by the basic version. Two thirds of all Sharan are "Family" versions, fitted as standard with integrated child seats in the second row, "beta" radio and "Climatronic" automatic air conditioning.

Most Sharan are ordered with metallic paint (87 percent). The most sought-after colours are "reflex silver metallic" and "black magic pearlescent". Almost one in two customers selects the options of a telephone preparation, the winter package (heated front seats, windscreen and windscreen washer nozzles), navigation system and the acoustic park distance control.

The Sharan is available with twelve different engine/gearbox combinations from 85 kW/115 h.p. to 150 kW/204 h.p., with the entry price starting from 26,250 Euros. A Sharan "Family" with the entry-level engine costs 27,275 Euros. The Sharan "Goal" special edition can be ordered for only 31,500 Euros, representing a saving to the customer of 1025 Euros.

The Sharan is enjoying this high level of popularity thanks to its large loading volume (max. 2610 litres) and its well thought-out interior concept offering up to seven comfortable seats. Furthermore, the models have been updated continuously over the years. The second generation of the Sharan appeared in 2000 featuring a new interior, revised design and improved technology. It was an immediate hit and reinforced the car's leading position in the market. The Sharan has been beguiling its customers with a fresh look since October 2003: Items such as the chromium radiator grille or the new bonnet design, the side mirrors with integrated indicators or the newly designed tail lights. The updated range of colours offers eight new choices for the exterior. Special equipment such as the Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) multimedia-capable DVD system rounds off the range of features on offer.

(May 20, 2004)

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