Volkswagen Group set to face more competition, uncertainties in 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on January 15, 2013

Volkswagen Group is expecting to face stiffer competition and more uncertainties in 2013, according to chief executive Martin Winterkorn. VW’s CEO made the statement even after the carmaker posted record global sales in 2012, when deliveries jumped 11 percent to 9.07 million vehicles. He quipped that 2012 was the “best sales year ever,” adding that it is another big step forward in the carmaker’s strategy 2018.

VW Group’s sales figure in 2012 included sales from all its brands like the core VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat. Last year’s surge pushed the group’s annual group deliveries by 44 percent since 2009. The German carmaker managed to cope with the effects of the European economic crisis on the demand for vehicles by expanding in the United States and China.

However, VW’s continued growth will be put under a test by the dwindling demand for vehicles in Germany. The industry-wide vehicle registrations in the country dropped 16 percent in December 2012, leading to a 2.9 percent dive overall in the year.

During an event in Detroit, Winterkorn remarked that many markets are losing momentum, adding that if the European markets get weaker, they have to expand abroad. VW has disclosed that it aims to increase its vehicle sales further in 2013 as well as surpass its operating profit in 2012.

Audi, VW’s luxury brand, accounted for the biggest earnings contributions for the group, after gaining 12-percent in sales to 1.46 million cars and sports utility vehicles.

Porsche, meanwhile, posted a record 19-percent jump in sales to 141,075 vehicles in 2012. VW also posted over 10-percent gains in all regions where it markets it vehicles. IHS Automotive, however, said that Volkswagen's deliveries in 2013 may stagnate at just 0.7-percent gain to 9.15 million vehicles, its slowest rate since 2009.c

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