Volkswagen Beats GM In China, Is Up Solid In The Rest Of The World

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
volkswagen beats gm in china is up solid in the rest of the world

With all the troubles in Europe, one would expect Volkswagen to hurt, but the Wolfsburg company is doing just fine, thank you. For the first five months, Volkswagen Group sales are up 5.9 percent to 3.87 million units. In May, global deliveries rose 6.9 percent to 816,500.

In China, Volkswagen could edge out perennial numbers leader GM.

Volkswagen Group Sales May 2013, by region5M’135M’12YoYMay’13May’12YoyTotal3,870,0003,650,0005.9%816,500763,9006.9%Europe1,530,0001,580,000-3.5%320,000330,000-3.0%WEurExD799,100825,800-3.2%163,200164,400-0.7%Germany473,100493,900-4.2%102,900106,400-3.3%EEur254,000262,600-3.3%54,90057,500-4.5%Russia120,900122,500-1.3%26,00028,000-7.1%North America360,000318,70013.0%80,10070,80013.1%USA249,300224,10011.2%55,40050,4009.9%South Am375,400376,700-0.4%83,40079,8004.5%Brazil276,300273,0001.2%62,80058,7007.0%Asia-Pacific1,430,0001,230,00016.4%290,000250,00016.0%China1,280,0001,080,00018.2%260,000220,00018.2%India41,30051,700-20.2%7,9008,200-3.7%Source: Volkswagen. Blue: Calculated from file data

In Europe, Volkswagen is indeed suffering, but not as much as other volume makers. Volkswagen’s European sales are down 3 percent. Volkswagen makes it up abroad. North America is up 13 percent, China is up 18 percent

In China, the Volkswagen Group appears to have outsold GM – at least as far as the last month is concerned. In May, Volkswagen sold some 290,000 units in China in the month, GM reports 253,000. We had to calculate the May number for Volkswagen as the company reports only year-to-date numbers. We will supply the exact number when we have it.

Year-to-date, Volkswagen keeps nipping on the heels General Motors, but so far fails to overtake in China. Volkswagen sold 1.28 million cars in the Middle Kingdom from January through April, whereas General Motors reports 1.33 million. Bottom-line wise, Volkswagen fares much better in China . More than half of GM’s Chinese volume consists of low-cost, low margin Wulings in a joint venture where GM holds 44 percent of the shares, making GM’s Chinese leadership a hollow one. More than half of Volkswagen’s sales are coming from outside Europe.

Volkswagen Group Sales May 2013, by brand5M’135M’12YoYMay’13May’12YoyVolkswagen Passenger2,410,0002,290,0005.3%500,000480,0004.2%Audi640,200600,2006.7%137,200128,9006.4%Porsche67,30015,1000ŠKODA377,200405,500-7.0%79,20081,400-2.7%SEAT149,100134,30011.0%32,00029,3009.2%Volkswagen Commercial219,900220,600-0.3%49,20046,4006.0%Source: Volkswagen. Blue: Calculated from file data

Premium brand Audi braves the rough elements even better than Volkswagen, again with a positive effect for the bottom line. Interestingly, Mediterranean SEAT, which had been given up for dead by many, shows surprising resiliency. Seat grew 31 percent in Germany, and 9 percent in the UK.

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9 of 25 comments
  • Wsn Wsn on Jun 14, 2013

    They sure sell a lot of units. But the total $ amount is probably very low, because they concentrate on the lowest priced market in China.

  • J.Emerson J.Emerson on Jun 14, 2013

    VW isn't generating any wider margins in China than GM. They also rely on the bottom end of the market for a large hunk of their volume. Keep in mind, this is a company that has treated the Chinese market primarily as a dilumping ground for ancient platforms until fairly recently. They still sell cars there that are decades old.

    • See 6 previous
    • Th009 Th009 on Jun 14, 2013

      @J.Emerson Chinese sales here: #1 VW Lavida (PQ34) #4 VW Sagitar (PQ35, same as US Jetta) #5 VW Bora (PQ35) #6 VW Passat (NMS, same as US Passat) #10 VW Jetta (PQ35, same as US Jetta) #12 VW Magotan (NMS, same as US Passat) #15 VW Tiguan (PQ35, same as US Tiguan) Actually only one model on an older platform in the top 15. Santana is way back in #52: Volkswagen has refreshed its Chinese model lineup in a big way. Chinese Audis are also all on current platforms.

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