By on January 14, 2013

Volkswagen has ended the year on a strong note. Shrugging off the troubles at home in Europe, Volkswagen increased its global group sales by a respectable 20.7 percent in December of 2012, bringing its global group sales for the year above the 9 million mark at an 11.2% increase compared to 2011.

Volkswagen performed most of this miracle in China. Less than 10 years ago, China was treated by Volkswagen as a penal colony for wayward executives. Now it is Volkswagen’s strategic high ground. Volkswagen is on a tear in China. In December alone,  it sold 130,000 units more In China than in December 2011. For the full year, Volkswagen is ahead 550,000 units in China, making more than up for the 10,000 units it sold less in beleaguered Europe.

Volkswagen global group deliveries December 2012
12M’12 12M’11 YoY Dec’12 Dec ’11 YoY
Total 9,070,000 8,160,000 11.2% 784,300 649,700 20.7%
Europe 3,670,000 3,680,000 -0.3% 270,000 300,000 -10.0%
Ger 1,180,000 1,150,000 1.9% 80,000 90,000 -11.1%
WEur ex D 1,850,000 1,980,000 -6.5% 140,000 160,000 -12.5%
EEur 644,300 547,800 17.6% 53,500 52,900 1.1%
China 2,810,000 2,260,000 24.5% 280,000 150,000 86.7%
USA 596,100 444,200 34.2% 62,100 45,500 36.5%
South Am 1,010,000 930,000 8.2% 86,200 74,400 15.9%
Black: VW data. Blue: TTAC calculated
Including Porsche from August 1,  2012. Excluding MAN and Scania

The Volkswagen Group delivered 2.81 million units in China this year, missing GM’s 2.84 million by less than 30,000 – a rounding error in China. Most importantly: All of Volkswagen’s sales in China are high margin products, whereas more than half of GM’s China sales are low-cost, low-margin Wulings.  Also, it is quite interesting that GM waited with its announcement of December and full year China sales until the very day Volkswagen would announce theirs, a Sunday no less. Usually, GM announces very early in the month.

Volkswagen global deliveries 2012 by brand
12M’12 12M’11 YoY
Volkswagen Passenger Cars 5,740,000 5,090,000 12.7%
Audi 1,460,000 1,300,000 11.7%
Porsche 59,500  See note
ŠKODA 939,200 879,200 6.8%
SEAT 321,000 350,000 8.3%
Volkswagen Commercial 550,400 528,900 4.1%
Note: Including Porsche from August 1,  2012. Excluding MAN and Scania

As far as the World’s Largest Automakers go, our prediction, repeated since May 2012, remains unchanged: #1 Toyota, #2 GM, #3 Volkswagen.

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2 Comments on “Volkswagen On A Tear Globally, Misses GM In China By A Hair...”


  • avatar
    sunridge place

    How does GM SAIC go up 11% YOY in December and VW go up so dramatically in Dec and SAIC reports only up 7.1%.

    Weird.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/saics-december-sales-lackluster-no-good-omen-for-gm/

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    “Sehr geehrte” translates from the German as “Most Honorable.”

    And when spoken by a German to an Ausländer… should be understood …ironically?

    Schadenfreudliche?


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