A Bad Month in China Means Slow Sales for VW

A significant reduction in tax concessions for smaller dispplacement vehicles in China, Volkswagen’s largest market, means that worldwide sales for the brand, and indeed the Group, fell more than 4% in January.

Despite that, VW brand sales rose in most other markets, including in the USA and even South America where sales rose 17% and 12%, respectively. Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Russia all saw reasonable sales bumps, too.

“Worldwide deliveries may be slightly below the value for the previous year, but this is solely due to special effects in the major market of China,” says Jürgen Stackmann, head of sales. “All the other reported gratifying increases compared with the previous year.”

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The larger VW Group was similarly affected by the poor Chinese performance, but also did well in other world markets. In Europe, North America, and South America, VW Group sales rose by between 7% and 9%.

“The early date of the Chinese New Year, the increase in tax on vehicles with small engines and temporary restraint in planning on the part of Audi dealers had an impact on the sales results for January. However, we expect to continue healthy growth in China this year,” said Fred Kappler, Head of Group Sales. “Outside China, the Group recorded solid growth of 4.9 percent in its worldwide markets.”