The Volkswagen brand logged a 3-percent surge in global sales in 2013 to a record 5.93 million, boosted by demand for the seventh-generation Golf hatchback as well as strong sales in China, Volkswagen Group said in a statement today. The brand posted its fourth consecutive month of growth in December at 3 percent to 535,200.
"Our new Golf in particular has done extremely well in its first full year on the market and has strengthened Volkswagen's competitive position," remarked sales chief Christian Klingler in the statement. In late 2013, Klinger said that the launch of the new Golf to China and the United States was expected to heighten the brand’s momentum in terms sales this year.
Klinger, however, warned that the VW brand would be "facing new and difficult challenges in 2014." According to VW, brand sales dropped 4 percent in Europe to 1.64 million in 2013.
The brand also fell 4 percent in its home market Germany to 560,100. The VW brand also saw its sales in the United States fall 7 percent to 407,700 in 2013. The brand, however, logged a 17-percent climb in sale in China, its biggest single market.
The brand enjoyed a significant increase of 15% for the Asia-Pacific region. For 2013, 2.73 million units were sold compared to 2.37 million units in 2012. Its largest market, Hong Kong and China, contributed 2.51 million units representing a 16.6% increase compared to 2.15 million in 2012.
Figures were down in North America with only 616,800 units sold in 2013 while in 2012, 623,300 vehicles were sold. Numbers were down in the U.S. as well from 438,100 in 2012 to 407,700 in 2013, a 6.9% decrease.
The same results were seen in the South America segment with figures down 13.9% from 836,600 in 2012 down to 720,400 in 2013. Brazil remained to be its largest market for this segment but figures were down as well managing to deliver 16.7% lower with 550,800 vehicles in 2013 compared to 661,000 units in 2012.
The European segment did not do so well either. Volkswagen Passenger Cars sales were down 3.7% to 1.64 million in 2013 from 1.70 in 2012. Central and Eastern Europe reported lower sales as well with 267,100 units sold in 2012 and 263,300 vehicles in 2013, representing a 1.4% decrease.
Russia continued to be the largest market for the Europe segment, also down 5.1% to 156,300 units for 2013 from 164,700 units in 2012. Germany meanwhile reported a 4.4% decrease with 560,100 vehicles delivered in 2013 from 586,100 units for 2012.
The rest of Western Europe also suffered decreases with vehicle deliveries lower by 3.9%, from 844,500 in 2012 down to 811,800 by 2013.
Christian Klingler, who is the Board Member for Sales and Marketing for the Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, released a statement saying that even with the challenging conditions of the market, the brand has in fact continued to experience growth.
Despite being only a year available on the market, the Golf has performed well and had in fact helped Volkswagen strengthen its competitive position, Klingler adds. There will be new and even more difficult challenges for 2014 but with its sustainable and young product range, the company knows it remains prepared.