Volkswagen has set itself an ambitious sales target for the U.S. market, aiming to hit 800,000 annual sales by 2018. Last year the automaker sold just over 400,000 units, which has led some to believe the 2018 target date may need to be pushed back.

VW isn’t giving up, however, and is looking to shorten its vehicles’ life cycles in order to keep up with its American and Asian rivals. The information was revealed by VW’s U.S. chief Michael Horn during a recent interview with Bloomberg.

“Customers want quicker change,” Horn said. “We’re working to shorten the life cycle of the products to bring more new features and design elements, in terms of facelifts, to the market quicker.”

Currently, VW operates on a seven-year product life cycle, with a facelift typically introduced after the first four years. According to Horn, VW is looking to shorten the life cycle to five years, with the facelift coming after three years.

A final decision on the strategy will be made this month, and if approved the first VW vehicles developed on a five-year life cycle are likely to arrive in 2017.


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