German automobile big Volkswagen stated Friday it offered a file variety of automobiles in 2018 even because it felt the sting from US-China commerce tensions and issues with European emissions checks within the ultimate months of the 12 months.
Some 10.83 million automobiles from the 12-brand group rolled out of dealerships final 12 months, up 0.9 % on 2017, the automaker stated in a press release.
“We’re very happy about this nice end result. Particularly within the second half, issues weren’t straightforward for us,” stated Christian Dahlheim, head of Volkswagen group gross sales.
Sturdy demand for SUVs contributed to development in the important thing markets of Europe, the US, China and South America.
The group’s own-brand VW automobiles, Skoda, Seat, Porsche and Lamborghini all set new supply data in 2018. The one darkish cloud got here from high-end Audi, whose gross sales slumped by 3.5 %.
Every year, the Wolfsburg-based group is locked in a good race with Toyota and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi for the title of the world’s topselling carmaker. The rivals have but to disclose their 2018 figures.
Volkswagen was plunged into disaster in 2015 when it admitted to dishonest emissions checks in thousands and thousands of diesel automobiles. However though it stays mired in pricey authorized woes, prospects have stayed loyal to the group.
One of many largest headwinds final 12 months got here from the European Union’s powerful new WLTP emissions checks, which have been spurred by the “dieselgate” scandal.
A scramble to prepare for the extra complicated checks from September led to manufacturing bottlenecks and a fierce value struggle to shift non-compliant fashions at a number of carmakers, Volkswagen chief amongst them.
VW additionally needed to grapple with “normal financial uncertainty” in China, the place a tit-for-tat tariffs spat with the US has weighed on development, significantly within the final half of 2018.
“The reluctance to purchase on the a part of shoppers had a damaging impression on the whole car market” in China, VW stated, however the group however noticed a “slight” gross sales enhance there over the complete 12 months.
VW added that it was trying to the long run “with optimism” however warned of challenges forward.
“In view of unstable geopolitical developments, our enterprise will face an equally sturdy headwind in 2019,” stated Dahlheim.
Fellow German automobile titan BMW additionally introduced file annual gross sales on Friday of two.49 million automobiles worldwide, up 1.1 % on the earlier 12 months.
Development was pushed by the luxurious BMW and Rolls Royce manufacturers, which each reported their best-ever figures and greater than offset a drop in gross sales on the smaller Mini subsidiary.
BMW stated it anticipated gross sales to develop “barely” in 2019 whilst market situations would “stay difficult”.
Volkswagen clinches file gross sales in 2017