Ferdinand Piech, Chairman of the Volkswagen Group, forecasts that sales in China in 2013 will grow by at least nine percent as it expects more consumers in the country to acquire their first cars. In an interview with Bloomberg during the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, Piech said there are so many people in China without cars, and the company is expecting a chunk of them to buy its vehicles. VW disclosed in June that it intends to increase its production capacity in China to four million cars by 2018 to keep in pace with the growing demand. Piech said that VW’s current planned investment is sufficient at this point. Passenger-vehicle deliveries in China failed to meet analysts' estimates for the second month in August as consumers refrain from buying vehicles as they anticipate further discounts.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the overall vehicle deliveries in China jumped 8 percent to 9.95 million units in the first eight months of 2012. VW logged a 17 percent increase in group deliveries in the Greater China to 2.26 million vehicles in 2011. The German carmaker has yet to topple General Motors Co. as the best-selling carmaker in China. GM sold 2.55 million vehicles, including Wuling minivans, in China in 2011 for an 8.3 percent jump.
According to Piech, VW is not suffering in Europe, where several carmakers are feeling the effect of the current financial crisis in the region. VW disclosed in August that it posted a 1.6 percent increase in total sales in whole Europe 2.23 million in the first seven months of 2012. VW is aiming to become the world’s No. 1 carmaker in terms of sales by 2018, intending to surpass bestsellers General Motors and Toyota Motor Corp. VW is aiming to sell 10 million vehicles that year. In 2011, GM was at top with 9.05 million units sold, followed by VW Group with 8.27 million units and Toyota with 7.95 million.