By on April 13, 2012

How do you produce record gains while your home market goes to hell in a hand basket? Volkswagen has the answer: You try to keep the lid on the hand basket and sell like hell elsewhere. The Volkswagen Group delivered 2.16 million vehicles globally in the first quarter of 2012, up 9.6 percent from the same period in 2011.This was the first time that the two million mark was crossed in the first quarter of a year. Record deliveries were also recorded for the month of March: 862,700 units, up 12.5 percent from 767,100 in March 2011.

The table tells the story better than words:

Volkswagen Group Q1 2012 Q1 2011 Change
Europe 937,000 908,300 3.2%
W Europe (ex Ger) 507,100 531,900 -4.7%
Germany 282,400 267,300 5.6%
C&E Europe 147,400 109,100 35.1%
Asia / Pacific 726,100 621,800 16.8%
China 633,900 548,500 15.6%
India 34,100 28,100 21.4%
North America 179,100 143,900 24.5%
U.S.A. 124,400 92,800 34.1%
South America 229,400 220,900 3.8%

Despite a tanking market, the Volkswagen group could eke out a small gain in Europe based on a solid showing in Germany and big gains in Central and Eastern Europe. Sales in China did beat the market and are now more than double the sales in Germany.

Brand-wise, all divisions are strong, except for SEAT. which has maximum exposure to the malaise in Southern Europe. Suddenly, SEAT’s overall weakness is beneficial: Where one does not have much, one cannot lose much.

Volkswagen Brands Q1 2012 Q1 2011 Change
Volkswagen Passenger 1,360,000 1,230,000 10.6%
Audi 346,100 312,500 10.8%
ŠKODA 242,700 217,100 11.8%
SEAT 80,100 90,700 -11.7%
Volkswagen Commercial 130,700 121,200 7.8%
Volkswagen Group 2,160,000 1,970,000 9.6%

Overall, Volkswagen’s stars are very well aligned. If Volkswagen maintains this kind of performance, it could reach the 9 million mark this year.

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