Slow auto sales in China are hurting Volkswagen in the heat of its battle royal with Toyota for global sales supremacy.
From January to July this year, the VW Group, despite gains by Audi and Porsche, reported delivering a total of 5.83 million vehicles, which was down 1% from the number of vehicles the group sold worldwide during the same period in 2014.
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand saw its sales drop by 4.3% in the first seven months of 2015, but Audi increased sales by 3.5% while Porsche delivered a total of 134,700 vehicles in the period to July, increasing sales by 28.5% compared with the previous year.In July, the Group’s sales in China dropped 3.7% to 792,100 units, the automaker reported.
“The overall economic situations in China, Russia and Brazil continue to be tense. At the beginning of the second half of the year, the Volkswagen Group was not entirely immune from these developments. To a certain extent, we did experience a tailwind in North America and especially in Europe,” Group Board Member for Sales Christian Klingler said.
“In the second half of the year, we expect the patchy development of markets to remain a key factor in the various regions,” Klingler added.
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The group’s brands increased sales in Europe by 3.7% from January to July. In its home market of Germany, sales increased by 5.7% but that was offset by 10.8% drop in Central and Eastern Europe. Significant increases in the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary were insufficient to compensate for the tense situation in Russia, where deliveries fell by 40.3% during the first seven months of 2015.
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Group deliveries in North America continued to grow, increasing by 6.2%, which included a 3.4% increase in the U.S. However, sales in South America dropped by 23% from January to July 2015. While deliveries in Argentina once again rose, sales fell 30.6% in Brazil.
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In the Asia-Pacific sales region sales dropped by 4.1%. As the market leader, the Volkswagen Group was not immune to the continuing downturn in China reduced sales by 5.3% to 1.99 million units.