Saved by the SUV: Volkswagen’s 2018 Sales Almost Level with 2017

Volkswagen's sales performance of last year 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
Having been ill-prepared for the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and facing what it claims to have been considerable economic uncertainty in China, Volkswagen’s sales increased only by a tiny 0.2 percent in 2018.
In all, VW sold 6.24 million vehicles around the world, mostly because of the extraordinary performance of the SUVs in its lineup. With almost one in every five Volkswagen cars being an SUV, the segment experienced a 38 percent growth over the twelve months of 2017 to reach 19.2 percent of the total cars sold.

Because of this, and in line with plans announced over the past years, Volkswagen will continue to pump money and ideas into new SUVs, adding so many of them that by 2025 there will be 30 such models available.

Market-wise, the home European continent accounted for 1.75 million vehicles (a growth of 3.6 percent) of the total, while the U.S. fared a tad better, growing 4.2 percent to a total of 354,100 vehicles.

Volkswagen had big hopes for China, a country that for some carmakers has proven to be great last year. Unfortunately, VW says China is going through economic uncertainties, hence 1.7 percent fewer people bought the German cars. Still, the country accounted for nearly half of the global Volkswagen sales: 3.11 million new cars.

It’s unclear what economic uncertainties VW cites when referring to China, given the fact that Mercedes-Benz, for instance, selling more expensive cars than VW, experienced an increase of 7.8 percent.

“2018 was characterized by considerable uncertainty in some regions, especially in the second half of the year.” said in a statement the man in charge with sales at VW, Jürgen Stackmann.

“Overall, though, we were able to combat this with a strong offensive of attractive new products and to offset the adverse effects. Our strategy has paid off. The new delivery record is the result of much hard work.”

The auto industry now awaits Volkswagen’s sales figures as a group.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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