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• Worldwide deliveries rose by 7.0 percent
• 32.4 percent rise in China almost double growth in overall Chinese market
• Record 32.3 percent market share in Germany
• Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Audi, Škoda and Lamborghini with all-time highs
The first three months of this year represent the most successful first quarter in the history of the Volkswagen Group: worldwide, the Group delivered 1.572 million vehicles under increasingly difficult market conditions, a 7.0 percent increase on the prior-year period. “We are well on track for a new delivery record for the full year thanks to great cars, a broader model range, attractive prices and innovations for all customers,” Detlef Wittig, Executive Vice President, Group Sales and Marketing, commented.
The high-volume markets of China and Brazil played an important role in the Group’s first-quarter sales performance: in China, 268,204 vehicles were sold in the first three months on this, the Group’s largest market ahead of Germany, representing an increase of 32.4 percent on the prior-year period. First-quarter growth in Group deliveries was therefore almost double growth in the overall Chinese market (+16.9 percent). Thanks to the start of Octavia production in China, Škoda contributed to the Group’s success in this market, delivering 16,212 vehicles. In Brazil, the Group’s third largest market, sales rose to 147,752 vehicles (+ 23.3 percent).
The Group also expanded substantially on the growth markets of Russia and India, with vehicle deliveries rising by more than 45 percent in both cases. In Russia, the Group sold 22,643 vehicles (+ 57.6 percent), in India 4,980 (+46.1 percent). In the shrinking US automobile market, the Group sold 72,224 vehicles (-0.7 percent), on a par with the same period in 2007, and grew its market share.
In Germany, Group first-quarter deliveries rose by 2.6 percent to 240,654 vehicles, bringing the Group’s share of the passenger car market to a record 32.3 percent. In Western Europe, 771,716 vehicles were delivered, and the market share of 18.6 percent corresponded to the high level of the comparable prior-year period.
Despite fewer working days in March, the Group delivered 619,893 vehicles worldwide (+2.0 percent) in that month alone.
Five of the Group’s eight brands contributed significantly to the Group’s performance in the first quarter of 2008, reporting new delivery records of their own. The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered 920,209 vehicles (+8.3 percent), Audi delivered 251,268 vehicles (+1.3 percent), Skoda sold 173,474 vehicles (+15.7 percent), the Italian super sports car brand Lamborghini sold 639 vehicles (+21.5 percent) and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles grew deliveries by 123,379 units (+12.0 percent). Affected by the generally weak market in Spain and Italy, Seat delivered 100,619 vehicles worldwide (-7.5 percent) in the first three months, Bentley sold 2,292 vehicles (-17.8 percent) and Bugatti delivered 15 vehicles in the first quarter of 2008, four fewer than the same period in 2007.