Volkswagen may be going through a rough sales patch in the United States, but things will get better, a company official said on Thursday, according to Dow Jones.

"We're going through an economic downturn, after which we'll have new successes," Jens Neumann, the VW management board member responsible for North America, told reporters after an event at Volkswagen's central Mexico plant, Dow Jones said. "With our model range, we are perfectly set for the future," Neumann reportedly added.

Dow Jones noted that Volkswagen began shipping its new sports utility vehicle, the Touareg, to US dealers in June, expanding into a key segment for North American drivers.

The news agency said Volkswagen's US sales for the first half of the year fell 14.2% to 145,958 vehicles from 170,019 vehicles in the same period of 2002 while industry executives expect US consumers to purchase 16.5 million new vehicles this year.

Low demand for the company's New Beetle and Jetta [Bora] models in export markets prompted the company to announce last week that it would cut production at its Mexico facility by 23% starting in August, affecting around 2,000 workers, Dow Jones added, noting that around 80% of the vehicles Volkswagen manufactures in Mexico are for export, mostly to the US.

However, Dow Jones said, sales in Mexico, where Volkswagen is the third most popular brand, remain robust and the company sold 83,681 vehicles there during the first six months of the year, or 4.6% more than in the same period in 2002.