Despite a slowdown in sales in China, the Volkswagen Group eked out a small gain in sales during the first five months of 2015 and remains on course towards its goal of selling more than 10 million vehicles worldwide.
Globally, the Volkswagen Group delivered 4.2 million vehicles from January to May: up 0.3% from a year ago. Worldwide VW Group sales increased 2.6% in May. Sales by the Volkswagen brand have softened this year but Audi continues to charge ahead as it creeps closer to rival BMW in total sales.
“Deliveries so far this year have been characterized by mixed market trends. Even with their broad range of young and eco-friendly models, the Volkswagen Group brands are not entirely immune to this situation,” said Christian Klingler, Group Board member for Sales.
“The market situation in the South America region and in Russia remains tense. Developments in Europe continue to be positive. In the meantime, the new normality has arrived in China, where the market situation has changed as expected,” Klinger added.
Group brands delivered a total of 1.73 million vehicles the overall European market in the period. Sales increased 6.3% in Western Europe, including Germany, but dropped 11.8% in Central and Eastern Europe. Deliveries in Russia continued to decline, dropping 40.8%.
Sales in in the North America region from January increased by 5.5%, but sales dropped by 23% in South America, including a 30% drop in Brazil, traditionally one of the company’s best markets.
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VW Group remained on par with last year as sales dropped 0.6% to 1.65 million vehicles in the Asia-Pacific region through May. Sales in China also dropped 1.1% to 1.49 million units, making it the group’s biggest market.
Overall, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered 2.48 million vehicles to customers worldwide in the first five months, which was a decline of 3%.
Like Audi, Porsche was a bright spot, delivering a total of 93,200 vehicles, representing an increase of 30.3% compared with the previous year.
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The aforementioned Audi handed over 744,900 vehicles worldwide in the period to May, an increase of 4.3%. Sales of BMW brand vehicles rose 4% in May with a total of 159,129 vehicles being delivered to customers. Sales for the year-to-date climbed 5.2% to 759,609.
BMW pushed to set a new sales record set a new sales record during the January-May period with a total of 890,937 vehicles delivered in the first five months of the year, an increase of 7.7%.
Deliveries of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles increased 5.9% to total 188,287 in the last month, making it the BMW Group’s best May ever.
“The solid growth the BMW Group has achieved this year continued in May, with all sales regions recording an increase in sales,” said Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW. “Our innovative, new products are achieving pleasing sales around the world and I am delighted that we have sold over 10,000 BMW i vehicles in the first five months of this year,” Robertson added.
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The BMW 2 Series achieved sales of 11,400 in May, 6,898 of which were deliveries of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. A total of 13,392 BMW 4 Series vehicles were delivered to customers worldwide in May. Sales of the electricfied BMW i series totaled 2,169 in May, with the brand achieving sales of 10,490 vehicles in the first five months of the year. The BMW i3 has been delivered to a total of 8,256 customers so far in 2015.
In May, 28,831 Minis were delivered to customers, an increase of 18.3% over the same month last year, which was affected by the core model change. Year-to-date sales increased by 25.9% with a total of 129,910 delivered to customers.
Asia saw deliveries of BMW and Mini models increase by 4.5% to 276,055 vehicles in the year-to-date. Sales for the first five months of the year are up 3% in Mainland China (190,427) while South Korea continues to generate double-digit growth with customer deliveries totaling 21,506 so far this year (+18%). Sales in Japan rose 5.1% in the same period to total 26,508.
A total of 195,485 BMW and Mini vehicles were delivered to customers in the Americas in the year-to-date, an increase of 9.7%. In the U.S., sales in the first five months of 2015 rose 10%, with a total of 160,533 vehicles delivered to customers. Mexico achieved a sales increase of 18.9% in the year-to-date with sales totaling 6,682 vehicles.
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The recovery of the market in Europe continues with a total of 392,182 BMW and Mini models delivered in the first five months of the year, an increase of 9.2% on the same period last year. Great Britain is a significant growth driver in the region with sales up 12.4% so far this year with France also recording very strong growth – sales there are up 24.4% in the year-to-date with customer deliveries totaling 31,179.