By on September 15, 2012

Volkswagen announced global Group sales for August, and they are a whopping 18.9 percent over August 2011. For the first eight months of the year, Volkswagen Group deliveries are 10.2 percent ahead of what VW delivered in the same period last year. With all the bad news from Europe, how can a European car company deliver such good numbers, you ask?

Volkswagen global group deliveries August 2012
8M’12 8M’11 YoY Aug ’12 Aug ’11 YoY
Total 5,910,000 5,360,000 10.2% 719,500 605,300 18.9%
Europe 2,470,000 2,430,000 1.7% 240,000 230,000 4.3%
Ger 792,300 761,100 4.1% 84,200 82,700 1.8%
WEUR ex D 1,250,000 1,330,000 -5.8% 100,000 110,000 -9.1%
EEUR 426,800 340,800 25.2% 50,500 41,200 22.6%
China 1,740,000 1,480,000 17.9% 230,000 190,000 21.1%
USA 380,000 285,000 33.3% 55,800 35,600 56.7%
South Am 678,600 619,600 9.5% 112,100 81,500 37.5%
Black: VW data. Blue: TTAC calculated

By selling a lot elsewhere. In China, Volkswagen’s sales are up 22.6 percent in August. With 230,000 units sold in August, China is becoming as big as Europe (240,000 units) for Volkswagen. Even in Europe, Volkswagen is better positioned than others. Sales in Western Europe excluding Germany are down 9.1 percent in August, but they are up in Germany, and up a lot in Eastern Europe.

For the first time, Volkswagen counts Porsche as part of the grand total. The Group sales reflect 10,900 Porsches sold in August, but they don’t recognize Porsche sales before August. If VW continues this treatment, then its annual sales will only benefit from 5 months of Porsche sales. The numbers do not include Scania and MAN.

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20 Comments on “Volkswagen Surprises With Strong August Sales...”

  • avatar

    Only car they ever had that I liked was the CC and since it’s too small, No point in me ever considering one.

  • avatar

    VW must be doing something right. They seem to have the product people like. Though VW has novel engineering and fun factor. I’ve never considered one because of the horror stories I’ve heard on parts & servicing. Perhaps I’m out of date?

    What are the buyer demographics? Is it mostly younger people? I can’t think the Chinese have much VW history. But Americans do.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t speak for VW built in the last couple of years and still under warranty, but those that aren’t are a maintenance nightmare. I work part time in a national chain auto parts store and Jetta’s and Passats with the 1.8L turbo are electronic nightmares. If you get one, keep a coil pack in the glove box. We stock 12 of them in our store, if that gives you any idea how many we turn over in a week.

      • 0 avatar

        The very LAST 1.8T was made in 2005.

      • 0 avatar

        No one disputes the relatively miserable reliability of the Mark IV Golf/Jetta and B5 Passat. Since then (2007 and later) overall VW quality has steadily improved. It’s roughly on par with the American brands (according to Consumer Reports) but lags the Asian brands. Everyone seems to have anecdotal horror stories of VW repair issues, but on balance the brand is improving, their sales are strong, and their vehicles are competitive.

        I was in Beijing last month and I could swear I was in Germany instead, save the Chinese signage on the buildings. VW is huge in China, and a VW is a car that Chinese citizens aspire to. Polos, Jettas, Passats, Tiguans, and Audis were seen in abundance, despite the shockingly traffic-snarled streets.

    • 0 avatar

      We have purchased three VWs new from the dealer.
      2003 Jetta Wolfsburg 1.8T Auto (165K miles)
      2010 Passat Komfort 2.0T, DSG (30K miles)
      2012 Golf TDI 2.0 turbo diesel, Sunroof & Nav pgk, DSG (1K miles)

      The Jetta did have numerous issues early on (window regulators, door locks, and brake light switch). However, these were nothing that I would consider a horror-story. Although, we maintain our vehicles very well , so maybe we have prevented some of those really bad things from happening. We have put a lot of miles on this car and have had to replace the following: two timing belts, two water pumps, and a few other small things here and there. The Jetta has served us well and we’ve enjoyed it and consider it a good car.

      The Passat has been surprised us in the fact that we have had nothing go wrong with it at all. With the exception of a slight dash rattle over certain types of road conditions (that does drive us crazy) we’ve been pleasantly surprised. Good power from the 2.0T and relatively good MPG (31mpg-combined). The car is only a couple years old, but so far it has a much better track record than the Jetta.

      The Golf is too new to tell – so far so good but I’ll report back in two years and give my honest opinion.

      Event though I love VW and will probably continue to buy their vehicles, I do believe they require special attention to the maintenance. Whenever people ask for my recommendation I always say only to buy a VW if you absolutely love the car. If you’re looking for something to just put gas in and go, look at the value leaders (Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevy, etc). VW will likely cost you more to own but it’s worth it if you love the car.

      • 0 avatar

        I had a 2000 Jetta VR6 that was such a nightmare that I ended up successfully suing Volkswagen and settling out of court. That was followed by an ’04 R32 which was flawless and an ’06 Audi A3 which has been good, but not great. Audi has made up for the problems on the A3 by treating me very well as a customer. They goodwilled a failed A/C compressor outside of warranty and they’ve placed extended warranties on common failure components such as the PCV, High Pressure Fuel Pump and flapper intake valve.

        The new MLB Audi’s from ’09 forward have been substantially improved. The only major failure there was the water pump on a batch of ’10 Audi 3.2L V6s that were then recalled.

    • 0 avatar

      VW here is Audi, VW, Skoda, Lamboghini etc not just VW.

    • 0 avatar

      No you’re not, I have a friend who is counting down the days until the lease is up on his wife’s Jetta, a nightmare, electrically. Has Lucas Electric renamed itself to whoever supplies VW with electrical parts? The only way I would ever buy a VW or Audi is if it came with a bumper to bumper 7 or more year warranty. I don’t usually keep cars that long anyway, so I would be safely away before VW can grab my wallet. I wouldn’t want anything Audi makes anyway, the whale shark front on a squashed egg does nothing for me.

    • 0 avatar

      Based on my observations, VW demographics in the US are: 1) Hipsters, 2) Hippies, 3) Europhiles [I place myself here] 4)Yuppies in the making.

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    China has Volkswagen history. Mao’s body was hardly cold before they came in the 1970s.

  • avatar

    I am so amazed, VW can seem to do no wrong (at least on TTAC). I would like to see just one hit piece on VW, one article that does not paint VW as the most innovative, best selling, best managed. You do a fine job tearing at GM and their many faults, VW also has faults, journalistic integrity would demand balance.

    I used to find your anecdotes about your decades at VW amusing, now…it feels like you may be on their payroll again.

    • 0 avatar

      Why would they be on the payroll, when the article is referring to the strong August sales in a pretty down market? Anyone else would virtually say the same thing.

    • 0 avatar

      Why do you want to see a “hit piece”? Volkswagen hasn’t provided any good fodder, I would argue, since the MK IVs were thankfully put out to pasture. Fact is, Volkswagen was one of the few manufacturers to *increase* R&D into and through the financial meltdown and they are now reaping the benefits of that. They’ve steadily improved the reliability of their sub-components and the latest Golf, A3 and Seat Leon, based on the new MQB kit architecture, is a major turning point for Volkswagen – hopefully in a good way.

      The long and short of it: they have no shortage of buyers lined up to the point where Audi is struggling to meet demand and limiting supply to North America as a result.

      For the better part of 20 years here in North America they’ve been ridiculed as unreliable, electrically-gremlin-infested nightmares to own. The reality is that in the last five years things have improved markedly. The company has improved and has demonstrated a level of execution that General Motors *wishes* it could imitate.

      I’m sure there are faults out there, but compared to GM there is nothing quite so onerous. Stating that journalistic integrity = balance in this case would be trying to headline something like: “Scientist states that Earth revolves around Sun. Some experts disagree.”

      My point is: Volkswagen is on a very positive roll after a ‘blah’ past fifteen years, preceded by a recovery from near death in the early 90s. If you want a hit piece it may be hard to find at this point.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    @forraymond- The pattern is clear and simplistic: VW good, GM bad and no one else matters much.

  • avatar

    I don’t know what’s going on in the rest of the world, but the 56% US growth is from VW practically giving away cars with their 0% APR 5 year financing. Instead of the tripled sales they’re aiming for, they’ll more likely end up with more-than-tripled default rates. No worries, the ECB will bail them out.

  • avatar

    VW products are hit and miss. I’ve had very, very good luck with a (German built) Passat wagon built in 2010 that made it to 15k miles before being hit by a sleeping SUV driver, excellent luck with a 2006 (German built) Audi A3 that has 90k miles and my wife still drives daily, And we also have two (German built) A4’s that have been as rock solid as the toyotas and subarus others own in the family. We also had one (Mexican built) 2010 Jetta TDI wagon was so horribly unreliable that I wanted to burn it to the pavement after 4 months of ownership. After 10 months it was gone. There are those who will say that the MExican built VW’s are no better or worse than the German models, but I only have 5 data points to judge for myself, and in my book, they are conclusive.

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