Volkswagen workers who make the Passat at the Emden factory in Germany are enjoying a mini-vacation. After the national holiday last Wednesday, which celebrated the fall of the wall and the re-unification, Volkswagen workers can celebrate falling sales of the Passat, and stay at home, says Germany’s Handelsblatt. Meanwhile, managers at Volkswagen are busy down–revising their production plans.
Passat sales are suffering from lagging fleet sales. Companies are postponing or canceling purchases in an attempt to ride out the European bust. Golf production on the other hand continues at double time. Volkswagen is sitting on a nice cushion of Golf Mk VII pre-orders.’ At the same time, production of the previous generation Golf continues.
“Until the end of the year, we build the old generation in parallel to the new model,” Volkswagen works council chief Bernd Osterloh told the Handelsblatt. “With that, we can fight the battle of the discounts without burdening the new Golf.”
|August Production and Full Year Forecast|
|8M ’12||8M ’11||YoY||Proj ’12|
|Black: Company data. Blue: Projection, based on last available
|Toyota, GM: Production. VW: Deliveries. Forecast by TTAC|
Nevertheless, Volkswagen will down-revise its production plan for the current year “by 140,000 units at the maximum,” Osterloh said. What the actual production plan number was and what it will be is anybody’s guess, The Handelsblatt thinks the old number was 9.7 million units for the current year, and the new number is 9.4 million. We think that the Handelsblatt is dreaming. According to a straight line projection of global sales through August, Volkswagen should end the year at around 8.9 million units, the downturn in Europe and at home in Germany could send the number lower, a Japanese windfall in China could lift it a bit.