VW warns growth will slow after group vehicle sales rise to 2.9 million
FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group said global deliveries for its cars and commercial vehicles rose 6 percent in April and 8.9 percent in the first four months, but warned that it expects growth to slow down for the rest of the year due to the European market slump.
Deliveries by the group's brands, from luxury carmakers Audi and Bentley to volume brands VW, Skoda and Seat, rose to 732,000 in April, compared with the same month in 2011 and to 2.89 million year-to-date.
Group sales chief Christian Klingler said: "We expect the markets in western Europe to deteriorate further. Our current projection has been adjusted downward and we are therefore keeping an even closer eye on market developments."
Vehicle sales were boosted by strong demand in the United States and China, but deliveries in western Europe fell as government austerity measures continue to depress consumer confidence.
VW said its four-month results outperformed the 6 percent overall global growth.
VW group sales in China, its single largest market, rose 15.9 percent to 858,900 year-to-date. In western Europe, sales declined 5.9 percent to 661,400, excluding Germany, where volume increased 5.6 percent to 387,500.
U.S. sales were up 32.1 percent to 173,700.
In India, group sales rose 17 percent to 43,500 while in South America, volume grew just 0.5 percent to 296,900.
Spain's Seat brand falls
All the group's brands except Seat had sales increases in the first four months.
Audi led the way with a rise of 11.7 percent to 471,300. Volume at the VW brand increased by 9.4 percent to 1.81 million.
Sales at Czech unit Skoda were up 9.8 percent to 324,100, while Seat's sales dropped 13.3 percent to 105,100, as the Spanish brand continued to be hit by poor economic conditions in its key southern European markets.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reported an increase of 6.1 percent to 174,200.
VW's growth this year puts the carmaker in a strong position to challenge General Motors and Toyota for the position of No. 1 global automaker by unit sales, a goal VW aims to achieve by the end of the decade.
In 2011, VW Group sold 8.27 million units, behind GM with 9.05 million and ahead of Toyota with 7.95 million.
Wolfsburg, 11 May 2012 - The Volkswagen Group continues to go from strength to strength, delivering 2.89 (January-April 2011: 2.66)* million vehicles to customers from January to April, representing an increase of 8.6 percent. Europe’s largest automaker therefore once again outperformed the overall market which grew by some six percent.
The Group also reported a rise in deliveries for the month of April, handing over 732,000 (April 2011: 690,800; +6.0 percent)* new vehicles to customers.
“The Group’s worldwide deliveries continue to develop in the right direction. We are benefiting from our convincing model range and are looking to keep up the momentum over the coming months as well”, Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler said in Wolfsburg on Friday. “We expect the markets in Western Europe to deteriorate further. Our current projection has been adjusted downward and we are therefore keeping an even closer eye on market developments.”
The Group brands delivered a total of 1.25 (1.23; +2.3 percent) million vehicles on the overall European market from January to April, of which 661,400 (703,000; -5.9 percent) units were delivered in Western Europe (excluding Germany) where conditions remained difficult. In contrast, Europe’s largest automaker grew deliveries in its home market of Germany by 5.6 percent to 387,500 (367,000) units. The company once again reported vigorous growth in the Central and Eastern Europe region, handing over 205,100 (155,300; +32.0 percent) vehicles to customer there.
Group deliveries also rose in the Asia-Pacific region, where 975,700 (837,300; +16.5 percent) vehicles were handed over to customers in the first four months, of which 858,900 (741,200; +15.9 percent) units were delivered in China, the region’s largest single market. In India, deliveries increased to 43,500 (37,200; +17.0 percent) units.
Developments on the American continent were also positive. Unit sales in the North America region were up 23.0 percent in the period to April to 247,900 (201,600) vehicles, of which 173,700 (131,500; +32.1 percent) were delivered in the United States. The Volkswagen Group handed over 296,900 (295,300; +0.5 percent) vehicles to customers in the South America region during the same period.
Outline of developments at Group brands
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand reported a substantial increase in deliveries to 1.81 (1.66; +9.4 percent) million vehicles in the period to April. The brand developed particularly well in the USA, where 131,900 (95,600; +38.0 percent) vehicles were handed over to customers. Volkswagen Passenger Cars delivered 84,000 (53,900) vehicles in the Central and Eastern Europe region over the same period, representing a rise of 55.7 percent.
Audi delivered 471,300 (422,000) vehicles worldwide from January to April, an increase of 11.7 percent. The premium brand from Ingolstadt benefited among other things from continued strong growth in China, where 124,300 (87,900; +41.4 percent) vehicles were delivered to customers, and the USA, where 41,000 (35,400; +15.8 percent) units were handed over.
The Czech automaker ŠKODA also continued on its growth trajectory in the first four months, delivering 324,100 (295,300; +9.8 percent) units. The company developed particularly well in the Central and Eastern Europe region, where 84,700 (71,600; +18.3 percent) customers took delivery of a new vehicle. On the overall European market, ŠKODA grew deliveries to 213,600 (198,700; +7.5 percent) units.
The Spanish brand SEAT delivered 105,100 (121,100; -13.3 percent) vehicles worldwide in the period to April. The company handed over 89,400 (109,300; -18.3 percent) vehicles to customers on European markets where the situation remained difficult. There were encouraging trends in Germany, where 18,200 (17,000; +6.8 percent) units were delivered, and the UK, where 13,600 (13,000; +4.3 percent) customers chose a SEAT model.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reported an increase of 6.1 percent for the first four months, delivering 174,200 (164,200) light commercial vehicles to customers. 39,600 (36,000; +9.8 percent) vehicles were handed over to customers on the home market of Germany. Deliveries also developed very well across Europe, and the company grew deliveries on the overall European market to 107,300 (99,400; +7.9 percent) units.
* excluding MAN and Scania
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