Volkswagen has reduced its internal sales target for 2012 in Western Europe by up to 140,000 vehicles, according to German daily Handelsblatt, citing the head of the carmaker’s works council. Bernd Osterloh told Handelsblatt that the VW Group is tentatively selling more cars in 2012 than 2011. However, the final figure would be less than the original targets set by the German carmakers. Osterloh’s reduction estimate of up to 140,000 vehicles is essentially lower than the 250,000 figure Handelsblatt reported in September. VW had denied Handelsblatt’s report. The VW Group is targeting to sell around 10 million vehicles by 2018, up from the 8.36 million units sold in 2011 last year. In its report, Handelsblatt said VW was also reducing its planned production capacity this year, citing a copy of a VW internal capacity planning report.
The German daily reported that VW management board member Michael Macht, who oversees production, had estimated that a maximum of 9.4 million vehicles would be produced in 2012, down from the previous estimate of 9.7 million units. The estimated figure includes vehicles produced by VW truck units MAN and Scania. VW disclosed in September 2012 that it is not expecting a significant recovery in the European auto market for the next one to two years. In the Handelsblatt report, Osterloh said VW would produce more of the last generations of Golf and would add new production shifts through the end of 2012 to continue the supply of sixth-generation compacts into the European market.
Osterloh said VW can compete in the price wars without placing the seventh-generation Golf under pressure since the carmaker could produce the old Golfs up to the end of 2012 parallel to building the latest generation. VW marketing board member Christian Klinger told Handelsblatt that the orders for the new Golf were beyond VW’s expectations.