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VW's record sales cannot overtake Toyota
Winterkorn presents the figures. Photo: DPA

VW's record sales cannot overtake Toyota

Published: 14 Jan 2013 08:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Jan 2013 08:39 GMT+01:00

Volkswagen posted record-breaking global sales in 2012, up 11 percent at 9.07 million vehicles, but the ambitious German automaker continues to trail Japanese rival Toyota.

VW, which aspires to be the world's biggest automaker by 2018, has a fair way to go to surpass the current champion, as Toyota has forecast that 2012 sales will jump 22 percent to 9.7 million vehicles.

GM, which briefly regained the crown after Toyota's supplies were shattered by the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, has not yet forecast or released its global sales figures for last year.

VW chief Martin Winterkorn expressed confidence for the future.

"This industry remains a growth industry worldwide and in this country," Winterkorn told reporters on the eve of the Detroit auto show.

"We want to outpace the industry," he said, adding "the VW group developed extremely well in difficult conditions."

However sales chief Christian Klingler cautioned progress could be slower this year if the situation in Europe continues to deteriorate.

"Present uncertainties will intensify in 2013," he said, adding "markets remain challenging, competition is getting tougher."

The 12-brand giant's sales jumped 34 percent in the United States, eight percent in South America and 25 percent in China, VW's largest market with 2.81 million vehicles sold last year.

The group hopes to sell "well in excess" of 600,000 Volkswagens and Audis in the United States this year, up marginally from 596,100 in 2012.

Sales were stable overall in Europe despite the economic crisis, but were down 6.5 percent in Western Europe excluding Germany at 1.85 million.

It nonetheless performed much better than the number two European automaker, France's PSA Peugeot Citroen, which saw its sales plummet 16.5 percent in 2012.

Among VW's various brands, the European crisis hit Spain's Seat hardest as sales fell 8.3 percent. The group's other brands, VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and its commercial vehicles, delivered gains of 4.1 to 11.7 percent.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:45 January 14, 2013 by smart2012
Well, Toyota difficult to beat. Great quality at much cheaper price. And why VW so scared of 2013, when everyone says situation will get better in eu? Maybe cause they have filled in the pipelines of unneeded cars in 2012 just to keep production numbers and make a bubble? Marchionne said 4 months ago VW strategy will bring to a suicide. Lets wait and see
15:19 January 14, 2013 by DOZ
I would never buy a VW again. Maybe VW should stop building the Cars offshore, thereby improving Quality.
17:02 January 14, 2013 by smart2012
by the way, VW did not also overtake GM
18:56 January 14, 2013 by Rischart99
Shouldn't the headline be "VW don't overtake Toyota, but this wasn't their target anyway." As they intend to be biggest in 2018, not being so in 2012 is not actually news.

Smart2012, it's GM who have the large stocks of unsold (in the US), as for your admiration of Marchionne Fiat is in major trouble, just like your other friend Hollande.

Are you sure you live in Munich as you really seem to dislike anything from your home nation?
23:37 January 20, 2013 by grazhdanin
So, if sales are bad, it's "because" of the crisis. If sales are at record level, it's "despite" the crisis, right? That way journalists may always mention the "crisis", no matter how well things are going.
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