Volkswagen Expected To Announce Strong Group Sales By The End Of The Week

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Volkswagen is hitting on all cylinders this year. The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered 1.23 million units in the first quarter of 2011, up 10.4 percent from 1.11 million in the same period of 2010. That according to an emailed statement from Wolfsburg.

In March, Volkswagen also racked up record deliveries: For the first time, more than 468,000 (March 2010: 446,000; +4.9 percent) vehicles changed hands. Who’s buying all these cars?

You guessed it: “Gains were particularly strong in emerging markets,” says Christian Klingler, Sales and Marketing chief of the Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand.

In China (including Hong Kong) first quarter sales were up 18.5 percent to 429,500 (362,600 in Q1 2010) That is about double the Chinese market that was up 9 percent. Volkswagen gained market share on GM China, up 10 percent in Q1. Volkswagen spokesman Enrico Belz did not have March numbers ready for China.

Mind you, this is for the Volkswagen brand only, but not for the Volkswagen group. Volkswagen will announce group numbers by the end of the week. TTAC is trying to pre-empt the announcement, an exercise that is only slightly frustrated by the absence of data for SEAT and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. They should not ruin the picture much. In 2010, SEAT amounted to only 4.8 percent of Volkswagen Group unit sales, and commercial vehicles to 6.1 percent. We expect a growth of group sales well over 10 percent in the first quarter.


(Data for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and SEAT not available)

Even with this strong showing, TTAC does not predict that VW will change places with either Toyota or GM by the end of the year. Currently, all signs point to GM toppling Toyota as the world’s largest automaker, especially considering the production numbers weighed-down by the tsunami effect. With a little luck, Volkswagen could pierce the 8 million a the end of the year. Adding Isuzu, a deal that looks unlikely at the moment, would add only 250,000 units, but it would make the race to the top more interesting.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Tyler Armstrong Tyler Armstrong on Apr 13, 2011

    Yeah the thought of buying a Golf TDI or GTI did rattle my brain a bit for a few months, but it's that rotten reliability that everyone online talks about that shakes me into considering a Mazda3 5-door instead. Volkswagen's drive extremely well and the fit and finish is fantastic, but no one can keep them together like the Japanese can. Seems that Mazda is a possible alternative to the handling of the Golf. Heck, even today i ran into a TDI owner and asked how he liked his car and how reliable its been...he paused for a second and replied, "ah, it's been okay." Never hear that same reaction from a Honda owner. You probably are taking your chance with any of them nowadays, given that 90 percent of the parts used in car A is also in car B as well.

  • JMII JMII on Apr 13, 2011

    After the experience with our VW Passat my wife refuses to own another VW. Its a shame because I consider them to be much better cars then the mainstream Toyotas and Hondas. The interiors, the turbos, stiff chassis and firm ride, all point to VW being an excellent "drivers car" and it was... for the first 3 to 4 years of ownership it was like owning an Audi at a deep discount. However at the 4 to 5 year mark the interior fell apart, anything that broke cost 3X what it should, the dealership was clueless, and after 60K miles ours had more rattles then a spray paint can. So I would not recommend a VW to anyone once past its warranty period. Just saying... my experience mirrors that of general interwebs chatter.

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    • Mpresley Mpresley on Apr 13, 2011

      Parts cost 3X? How do you know what parts "should' cost? I recently bought a back window strut for the old man's Chevy Blazer, and as I was in a hurry I had the dealer screw it on. The tab was, as I recall, over a C-note. For a gas strut and 5 minutes of labor. Good thing he wasn't driving a Passat, I guess.

  • FreedMike I like the looks of the Z, but I'd take the Mustang. V8s are a disappearing breed.
  • Picard234 I can just smell the clove cigarettes and the "oregano" from the interior. Absolutely no dice at any price.
  • Dartdude The Europeans don't understand the American market. That is why they are small players here. Chrysler Group is going to die pretty soon under their control. Europeans have a sense of superiority over Americans that is why the Mercedes merger didn't work out and almost killed Chrysler. Bringing European managers aren't going to help. Just like F1 they want our money. We need Elon Musk to buy out Chrysler, Dodge and Ram from Stellantis.
  • Michael S6 I would take the Mustang for the soundtrack. However, practically a BMW M340ix or M240ix would be my choice.
  • Michael S6 Took my car for oil change on Friday and dealership was working on paper. Recently one of the major health care system in our area was hacked and they had to use paper backup for three weeks. What a nightmare.