The further increase in the value of the Brazilian real against the US dollar means that manufacturers are planning to increase imports into Brazil.

Volkswagen is planning to double sales of imported vehicles in the country to 16,000 units this year, reported AutoData.

Volkswagen has created a 'Premium' division that will sell imported cars such as the Beetle, Passat, Touareg and Jetta. The company is planning to set up dedicated areas within major dealers to handle sales of 'Premium' vehicles.

The Beetle and Jetta are built in Mexico, with which Brazil has a free trade agreement already well utilised by rival automakers including the Renault-Nissan Alliance which imports the Mexican-built Sentra and Tiida.

The Jetta Variant (aka Golf wagon) was introduced last month and VW plans to sell 3,000 this year. The car is high priced at R$97,000 but has a high level of equipment including ESP and automatic six-speed transmission.

The station wagon segment is growing in Brazil, according to VW. In 2007 sales were 7,500 units and this year are expected to rise to 7,500 units.