VW Group sales fall for 2nd consecutive month
FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Volkswagen Group sales fell for a second month in May and at a faster pace than in April, highlighting the German carmaker's difficulties in weak emerging markets.
Deliveries at the 12-brand group, which includes premium brand Audi and sports car maker Porsche, slid by 2.6 percent to 858,000 vehicles in May, VW said in a statement on Friday.
In April sales had declined for the first time in at least four and a half years, dropping by 1.3 percent year on year.
The slide in May group sales coincide with the 5.9 percent drop in sales at the core VW brand, which accounts for 60 percent of the automaker global volume.
"Deliveries so far this year have been characterized by mixed market trends. Even with their broad range of young and eco-friendly models, the Volkswagen Group brands are not entirely immune to this situation," VW sales chief Christian Klingler said in a statement.
Europe's largest automaker is seeking to draw up a new company structure to help to raise profitability and tackle underperformance abroad.
Sources told Reuters this week that Klingler, an ally of VW's former chairman Ferdinand Piech, could lose his job as part of the reorganization.
VW did not break out regional sales figures for May but said that deliveries in China were down 1.1 percent at 1.49 million in the first five months of the year, while sales in Brazil were down 30 percent at 177,800.
Last month it said that January-to-April sales in China, the world's biggest car market, were up 0.2 percent, with Brazil down 27 percent.
Many carmakers are suffering from a cooling of the market in China, where vehicle sales fell for a second straight month in May, the first such consecutive drop since late 2011.
German premium carmaker BMW reported its core brand's first monthly Chinese sales decline in more than a decade on Friday.