Vw starts the new year with slight sales growth

Vw starts the new year with slight sales growth

The total of 419,200 cars sold, however, meant only a meager plus of 0.1 percent compared to the same month the year before (418,600). As the company reported in wolfsburg on tuesday, growth in registrations in western europe and china cooled off. In other markets such as the USA and russia, however, sales continued to rise.

Europe’s industry leader had already hinted in recent months at a possible downturn in the auto market and warned of caution in view of future developments. VW board member for sales christian klingler nevertheless spoke of a stable start to 2012: "despite the volatile development, especially in europe, we were able to maintain the previous year’s high level of deliveries."

The group’s core brand ended the full year 2011 with an all-time high in deliveries. Just under 5.1 million cars with the VW emblem represented an increase of 13.1 percent.

In wolfsburg’s view, the decline in sales in western europe in january was due to the "current uncertainties" caused by the euro debt crisis. The VW passenger car brand sold 2.9 percent fewer cars here than a year ago. In the domestic market of germany, the decline was even more pronounced at 8.4 percent.

VW also suffered a setback in china, where the decline was 8.6 percent. This was mainly due to the non-working days around the chinese new year, it said in explanation. The festivities started in january and therefore earlier than usual. In the asia/pacific region as a whole, the decline was 6.9 percent.

By contrast, VW was again able to make up considerable ground in the USA, where sales increased by almost half. Central and eastern europe posted a clear increase of 67 percent. In india, the increase was 42.2 percent, and in russia as much as 118.4 percent. In these markets, however, the absolute number of VW cars sold is still comparatively low.

The competition also expects 2012 to be rather mixed. VW’s premium subsidiary audi achieved record sales in january – but compared with the start of 2011, the increase of 0.8 percent was less impressive than at BMW (+6.6) or daimler (+5.8). While audi’s sales in china and the united states soared, sales in europe shrank by 13 percent. The sharpest declines were in spain (-38.1) and italy (-27.6).