VW Group global sales rise 14.9% in January
China, U.S. continue to offset weak European market
FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group said its global vehicle sales rose 14.9 percent in January to 749,900 as strong demand in China and the United States continued to help offset a weak European market.
In a statement on Friday, VW sales chief Christian Klingler warned that despite the double-digit rise last month, 2013 would be ''a challenging year for the Volkswagen Group."
The company said January sales in China, the group's largest single market, rose 43.3 percent to 298,300, but said the increase was in part due to the later date set for the Chinese New Year and added that it expected a decline in February volume as a result of this special effect.
Sales in the United States were up 16.2 percent to 42,700, while in Brazil, South America's biggest single market, they rose 6.2 percent to 55,400.
In Europe, overall deliveries fell 3 percent to 252,200, while in western Europe, excluding Germany, they dropped 4.4 percent to 138,100, as the region entered its sixth continual year of falling auto sales. In central and eastern Europe, volume fell 2.9 percent to 40,200 last month.
In Germany, Volkswagen's No. 2 market, group sales fell 0.2 percent to 73,900.
Seat leads growth at brands
VW's Spanish unit Seat lead growth at the group last month as sales rose 19.1 percent to 25,900. In Europe, the brand performed particularly well, growing deliveries 12.5 percent to 20,100.
Sales at VW's core brand rose 17.4 percent to 491,900, while premium brand Audi deliveries increased 16.3 percent to 118,000.
Volume at Czech unit Skoda fell 7.8 percent to 69,500, which VW said was due in part to the market launch of the new Octavia model.
Porsche, which Volkswagen added to its brand portfolio in August, sold 12,100 units in its first January as a group brand, VW said.
VW aims to pass General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. for the position of No. 1 global automaker by unit sales by 2018. VW is targeting 10 million auto sales that year.
In 2012, VW Group sold 9.07 million units, behind GM with 9.29 million and Toyota, the best-selling global automaker, with 9.75 million.
Wolfsburg, 15 February 2013 - The Volkswagen Group began the year with a 14.9 percent* increase in deliveries for January which totaled 749,900 (January 2012: 652,400)* units. "In particular the sizeable increase in China – due to the later date set for the Chinese New Year – helped the Volkswagen Group achieve this January performance. For February, we expect a decline in deliveries in China as a result of this special effect. In Europe, the prevailing economic uncertainty continues to have a noticeable impact on market development and the Volkswagen Group could not entirely escape this trend in January. On the other hand, we recorded slight growth in the North America region", Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler said in Wolfsburg on Friday, and added: "The fact remains that 2013 will also be a challenging year for the Volkswagen Group."
Deliveries in the Asia-Pacific region rose as a result of the special situation in China. Customers took possession of 326,200 (233,500; +39.7 percent) new vehicles in the region in January. The Volkswagen Group delivered 298,300 (208,200; +43.3 percent) vehicles in China, the region's largest single market, in the first month of the year. As a result of the later date set for the Chinese New Year, deliveries in January were noticeably higher than for the same month last year. This effect will be reversed in February. In India, the company delivered 7,800 (9,400; -17.1 percent) vehicles to customers in the first month of the year.
The Volkswagen Group benefited from the ongoing dynamic sales situation in the North America region in January, handing over 62,600 (53,500; +17.0 percent) vehicles to customers, of which 42,700 (36,700; +16.2 percent) units were delivered in the United States, the region's largest single market. The Group delivered 77,300 (78,100; -0.9 percent) vehicles to customers in the South America region, of which 55,400 (52,200; +6.2 percent) were handed over in Brazil, the region's largest market.
On the overall European market where major uncertainty still predominates, the Volkswagen Group handed over 252,200 (259,900; -3.0 percent) vehicles to customers, of which 138,100 (144,400; -4.4 percent) units were delivered in the Western Europe region (excluding Germany). In Central and Eastern Europe, deliveries during the same period ran at 40,200 (41,400; -2.9 percent) units. In the home market of Germany the Volkswagen Group handed over 73,900 (74,100; -0.2 percent) vehicles.
Outline of developments at Group brands
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand recorded a significant increase in worldwide deliveries in January, handing over 491,900 (419,100; +17.4 percent) units. The brand developed particularly well in the Asia-Pacific region, where deliveries ran at 251,100 (174,700; +43.7 percent) units. In the North America region, Volkswagen Passenger Cars handed over 43,800 (39,600) vehicles during the same period, an increase of 10.6 percent.
Audi delivered 111,800 (96,100) vehicles worldwide in January, a rise of 16.3 percent. Among other things, the premium brand from Ingolstadt benefited from growth in China, where 37,700 (27,200; +38.5 percent) vehicles were handed over, and in the United States, where customers took possession of 10,100 (9,400; +7.5 percent) new vehicles.
The sports car manufacturer Porsche, which became a Volkswagen Group brand on August 1, 2012, delivered a total of 12,100 vehicles in January. Demand for models built by the Stuttgart-based carmaker was particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region, where 4,100 vehicles were handed over to customers, and in the North America region, where 3,600 vehicles were delivered.
The Czech automaker ŠKODA delivered 69,500 (75,400) units in the first month of the year; the decline of 7.8 percent is attributable to the market launch of the new Octavia. Of this total, the company delivered 17,600 (20,400; -13.6 percent) units in Western Europe (excluding Germany) and handed over 15,100 (17,900; -15.7 percent) vehicles to customers in the Central and Eastern Europe region.
The Spanish brand SEAT delivered 25,900 (21,700; +19.1 percent) vehicles worldwide in January. Despite difficult conditions on European markets the company delivered 20,100 (17,900) vehicles in Europe as a whole, an increase of 12.5 percent. Deliveries were particularly encouraging in Germany, where 4,600 (3,600; +27.5 percent) models were handed over to customers, and in Spain, where deliveries ran at 4,900 (3,700; +34.5 percent) units.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles could not entirely avoid the effects of the difficult market situation and delivered 37,900 (39,500; -4.0 percent) light commercial vehicles in January. 11,700 (11,600; +0.1 percent) vehicles were handed over to customers in the Western Europe region (excluding Germany). On the home market of Germany deliveries ran at 6,200 (8,800; -29.1 percent) units.
*) including deliveries by the Porsche brand from August 1, 2012; excluding MAN and Scania
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