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Editor: John Mortimer
Sunday, 17 April 2016
VW sales hold as ‘dieselgate’ rumbles on
Volkswagen Group vehicle deliveries rose by 0.8
percent in the first
quarter of 2016. The Group handed over 2.5 million vehicles to customers from
January to March 2016.
At 967,100 units, Group deliveries in March almost matched
the prior-year level.
“There was a solid growth in the
Europe and Asia-Pacific regions in the first quarter of 2016. The Group
recorded its best start to the year in China since entering the market there,” declared Fred Kappler, head of group sales at Volkswagen AG.
The Volkswagen Group delivered
447,600 new vehicles to customers in Europe in March, an increase of 2.7 percent compared with the
previous year. While developments in Western Europe (+1.9 percent) were positive,
there was a slight decrease on the home market of
Germany (-2.5 percent).
VW said that momentum in France, Italy
and Spain was particularly strong. The markets in Central and Eastern Europe
also recorded strong growth in this period (+8.8 percent), but the continued
tense situation in Russia (-3.3 percent) had an impact.
VW Group delivered
201,500 vehicles to customers in the North America region in the first quarter.
Of these, 49,900 new vehicles (-3.7 percent) were delivered in
the USA, the region’s largest single market, in March. Also, 40,000 vehicles were
handed over to customers in the South America region
in the same month, of which 26,000 were delivered in Brazil where the market
decline continued as a result of the macroeconomic situation in the country.
Solid growth recorded in Asia-Pacific
The Asia-Pacific region recorded “solid growth” in the first quarter where the effects of ‘dieselgate’ were not felt. Vehicle deliveries in the region during this period rose
overall by 4.3 percent to 1,045,400 units. Of this total, some 955,500
vehicles were handed over to customers in China in the first quarter,
representing an increase of 6.4 percent compared with the prior year. A total of 328,000 vehicles were delivered in March.
VW Group’s sales, Christian Stadler, Professor of Strategic Management at
Warwick Business School, said: "While the numbers are down, it is actually
a far cry from what one would have expected. Of course, that the VW brand has
been hit more than others is no surprise, but, considering the furore of
'dieselgate' we have definitely not witnessed the demise of the Volkswagen
Group that some expected.
has been a downturn, but it is not a massive one. In fact, as past history of
scandals has shown, people are often quick to move on and forget,” said
would say is the numbers do reflect a bigger concern for Volkswagen over its
product mix, for example, it does not have new products in the SUV section,”
added Stadler. “This is a bigger problem in China and far more worrying than
'dieselgate'. Volkswagen has been outpaced by Toyota. Over in China it does not
really have a cheap mid-range SUV that the market is after. This is a problem
it has been aware of for years, but when challenged about it, things always
seem to be another year away.”
Stadler, "Volkswagen really need to get this right moving forward as this
is perhaps a much bigger issue than the decline in European sales."
still rumbles away in the background.
An overview of
VW Group’s sales is show in the tables below.