The Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg today said sales increased for the month of April to 732,000 vehicles. Compared to April 2011 at 690,800, this represented a 6% gain. Year-to-date VW Group sold 2.89 million vehicles for an increase of 8.6% percent (January-April 2011: 2.66 million). Europe’s largest automaker and the Number Two Global automaker behind General Motors outperformed the overall market, which grew by 6% during the year.
However, Europe remains a weak spot even for Volkswagen. VW Group brands delivered 1.25 million vehicles (2011: 1.23; +2.3%) in the European market during January to April, of which 661,400 (703,000; -5.9%) vehicles were delivered in Western Europe – excluding Germany – where conditions “remained difficult.” In contrast, VW Group deliveries in its home market of Germany were up by 5.6% to 387,500 units.
“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,” said Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler this morning.
Like most western automakers, VW Group once again reported vigorous growth in the Central and Eastern Europe region, with sales of 205,100 vehicles (155,300; +32%).
VW Group deliveries also rose in the Asia-Pacific region, where 975,700 vehicles (837,300; +16.5%) vehicles were sold to customers in the first four months, of which 858,900 (741,200; +15.9%) units were delivered in China, the region’s largest single market, and the largest car market in the world. In India, deliveries increased to 43,500 compared to 37,200 in 2011 for a +17% gain.
Vehicle sales in the North America region were up 23%to 247,900 (201,600) vehicles, of which 173,700 (131,500; +32.1%) were delivered in the United States. The Volkswagen Group sold 296,900 (295,300; +0.5 percent) vehicles to customers in the South America region during the same period.
Volkswagen Passenger Cars reported an increase in deliveries to 1.81 (1.66; +9.4%) million vehicles in the period to April. VW was strong in the United States, where 131,900 (95,600; +38%) vehicles were delivered. 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%.
Audi delivered 471,300 (422,000) vehicles worldwide from January to April, an increase of 11.7%. The premium brand from Ingolstadt saw strong growth in China, where 124,300 (87,900; +41.4%) vehicles were delivered to customers, as well as the U.S. where 41,000 (35,400; +15.8%) units were sold.
The Czech automaker ŠKODA also improved in the first four months, delivering 324,100 (295,300; +9.8%) units. ŠKODA, not surprisingly, did well in the Central and Eastern Europe region, where 84,700 (71,600; +18.3%) customers took delivery of a new vehicle. On the overall European market, ŠKODA increased deliveries to 213,600 (198,700; +7.5%) units.
The Spanish brand SEAT delivered 105,100 (121,100; -13.3%) vehicles worldwide in the period to April. The company handed over 89,400 (109,300; -18.3%) vehicles to customers on European markets where the Spanish economy and unemployment are at depression levels. There were, however, encouraging trends in Germany, where 18,200 (17,000; +6.8%) units were delivered, and the UK, where 13,600 (13,000; +4.3%) customers bought a SEAT model.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reported an increase of 6.1% for the first four months, delivering 174,200 (164,200) light commercial vehicles to customers, of which 39,600 (36,000; +9.8%) vehicles were sold to customers in the home market of Germany. Increased across Europe to 107,300 (99,400; +7.9%) units.