Strong sales in their emerging markets has meant VW bucked the global automotive downturn in 2009, posting record sales and gaining more than one point of share in the global car market thanks to
Volkswagen said that group deliveries to customers rose 1.1 percent to an all-time high of 6.29 million vehicles, driven by robust gains in China, Germany and Brazil which are its three biggest markets.
Another big surprise was that VW now sells more vehicles in China than it does in its home market of Germany with Chinese sales up by 37 percent to 1.40 million vehicles, surpassing Germany for the first time as Volkswagen’s largest single market.
Nonetheless, the group warned that developed markets such as Europe were not exhibiting any signs of real underlying growth, with demand artificially fuelled by government-backed scrapping schemes.
“There are no signs of a sustained recovery on the global automotive market. Emerging markets such as China and Brazil will, however, show an upward trend,” group sales chief Christian Klingler told reporters in Detroit.
“Given our strong presence in these markets we intend to participate in the anticipated slight revival of the world market,” he added, declining to give a specific forecast for sales this year apart from a target of outperforming the overall market.
VW’s “value” brand Skoda gained 1.4 percent in volumes to 684,200 vehicles; while the struggling Spanish brand Seat saw sales drop 8.6 percent to 336,600 cars following a sharp decline in its domestic market. Audi was also down delivering 949,700 units, down 5.4 percent on 2008.