Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. continued to post strong sales in China for March and the first quarter of 2014.
Ford China heads into the Beijing Auto Show with record monthly sales of 103,815 vehicles, a 28% increase over March 2013. It was the first time Ford China sales topped the 100,000 monthly sales mark for the first time. Excellent March performance brought first quarter sales up by 45%, compared to the same period last year, according to Ford.
“We’re pleased that China’s car buyers continue to choose Ford,” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford China. “Our strong sales momentum demonstrates the success of our accelerated China growth plan and puts Ford in a great position as we get ready to showcase our full product lineup at the Beijing Auto Show.”
Ford’s strong showing came despite concerns the Chinese economy could be slow this years.
Ford-brand car sales – which include sales for the imported Ford Explorer, Ford Edge, Ford Focus ST and the Ford Fiesta ST – grew 57% in the first quarter. The ongoing growth in China also boosted Volkswagen Group in March.
The VW Group continued to record what it described as “very encouraging” figures as sales increased 14.4% to 880,700 in China, the Group’s largest single market. In contrast, deliveries in India declined 30.4% while sales in Brazil dropped by more than 20%. The Volkswagen Group’s sales in China were boosted by strong showings by Audi and Porsche, both posted double-digit sales increases during the first quarter, VW executives said.
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“All in all, we are very satisfied with the way deliveries developed in the first three months,” Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler said.
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“The positive momentum in the Asia-Pacific region continued, with China remaining the Group’s largest single market. Furthermore, there are signs of a return to modest growth on the markets in Western Europe,” Klinger said.
Despite its strong showing, however, VW fell behind GM in the race for top spot in the Chinese market.
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GM and its joint venture partners in China earlier this month reported had record sales in China during March and the first quarter of 2014 sales in March increased 7.8%, raising GM’s domestic sales in China during the first quarter to 919,114 units – an increase of 12.6% from the same period a year ago.
GM had posted record sales of 3.2 million units in 2013 and the strong first quarter sales leave it on track to hit 3.6 million units this year.