BERLIN (XINHUA) – Global deliveries by the Volkswagen Group in August rose by 5.7 per cent year-on-year, Germany’s largest carmaker said on Friday.
Driven by significant growth in the European markets and the Middle East/Africa region, the number of vehicles delivered in August increased to 740,100.
Sales in the comparison month, August 2022, were “particularly strong because the market was stimulated by tax breaks, following the long COVID-19 lockdowns”, a Volkswagen Group spokesperson told Xinhua on Friday, stressing that the company kept deliveries to China “almost stable” between January and August.
In the first quarter of 2023, Volkswagen lost its market leadership in China to local electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD, according to figures by the China Passenger Car Association. BYD saw sales jump 69 per cent year-on-year in the first three months.
Instead of price cuts “beyond an economically justifiable level,” Volkswagen is focusing on the “protection of margins”, the spokesperson told Xinhua. “Profitability remains a high priority for Volkswagen, even in a highly competitive market environment.”
The Volkswagen Group recently strengthened its presence in China with the acquisition of a 4.99-per-cent stake in local EV startup XPeng. Meanwhile, the carmaker’s luxury brand Audi further expanded its cooperation with its Chinese joint venture partner SAIC.
“Local partnerships are an important building block in the Volkswagen Group’s ‘in China for China’ strategy,” Volkswagen Group China Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ralf Brandstaetter said in late July.