It appears nothing can stop Volkswagen. The company that is still enveloped in the never-ending Dieselgate fiasco has paid out more in fines than most companies make in a lifetime and has had more bad press than one cares to remember, but despite that, the company has just hit a new sales record.
In the first quarter of 2018 Volkswagen increased its sales to a record 1.53 million cars, with 584,700 vehicles being sold in March – another record – as sales rose by 4.9 percent compared to March 2017. The boost was helped by strong gains in China and the United States, which is surprising given that most of the controversy surrounding the company developed there.
Quarterly deliveries at Volkswagen increased by 5.9 percent, with an 8.6 percent expansion in China, the carmaker’s largest market, and a sizeable increase in deliveries too.
It wasn't all positive though – in Germany, Volkswagen's sales actually slipped by 0.8 percent, the company revealed on Monday.
The news of Volkswagen's increased sales and deliveries comes off the back of news that the company's chief executive Matthias Müller enjoyed a 40-percent increase in earnings last year. The boost saw him earn almost $12.5 million in pay and benefits.
Müller's salary increase came after Volkswagen posted record profits last year, and the company introduced new remuneration rules after investors criticized big bonuses paid to executives in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal which came to light in 2015.
The wider Volkswagen Group, which also includes Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche and Bugatti, nearly doubled its operating profit last year, even as it continued to grapple with fallout from the emissions scandal and as it prepares to press ahead with a costly strategic shift to electric and self-driving cars across a number of its brands.
Gallery: 2018 VW T-Roc
Volkswagen sets delivery record in first quarter of 2018
- 1,525,300 vehicles handed over to customers
- 5.9 percent up on the prior-year figure
- Upward trend in Europe and Germany as well as North and South America continues
- 584,700 vehicles delivered in March, a new record
With more than 1.5 million vehicles delivered to customers in the first quarter of 2018, the Volkswagen brand recorded the best first-quarter delivery results in its history. Worldwide deliveries in March 2018 totaled 584,700, another new record and an increase of 4.9 percent compared with the prior-year figure for the same month. Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales, said: “The Volkswagen brand’s first-quarter delivery results are very encouraging. Thank you to our customers and dealers! We achieved growth in many European markets as well as Germany. The upward trend continued in North and South America. In South America, the successful launch of the Polo and Virtus had a significant impact on the encouraging results, in North America the successful launch of the Tiguan Allspace and the Atlas. In Brazil, we recorded our best quarterly results since 2015 and won further market share.”
Deliveries in the regions and markets in March developed as follows:
190,000 vehicles were handed over to customers in Europe in March, an increase of 3.4 percent compared with the previous year. This trend was mostly driven by the large markets in Western Europe: Italy (+9.9 percent) and France (+8.6 percent) as well as Sweden (+11.9 percent) showed particularly positive development, while Western Europe as a whole was able to secure a 1.9 percent increase on the prior year.
Deliveries in the home market of Germany were approximately the same as the prior year. 54,400 vehicles were handed over to customers, 0.8 percent down on the previous year.
25,300 vehicles were handed over to customers in the Central and Eastern Europe region, corresponding to a 14.6 percent increase on the previous year. In Russia, the number of deliveries stood at 8,600 vehicles, an encouraging 24.1 percent higher than the prior-year figure.
50,500 vehicles were delivered in North America, corresponding to a 5.2 percent increase compared with the previous year. The Volkswagen brand’s SUV offensive helped bring about a 17.8 percent increase in the USA, with deliveries amounting to 32,500 vehicles. Deliveries of the new Tiguan in March totaled 9,700 units. The positive trend in Canada also continued (+31.8 percent).
41,100 vehicles were handed over to customers in South America. This represents an increase of 6.6 percent in the region compared with the previous year. 27,800 vehicles were handed over to customers in Brazil, the largest market in the region, representing an increase of 8.4 percent on the prior-year figure.
The brand continued on its growth course in China in March. Volkswagen delivered 269,500 vehicles in its largest individual market – a further rise of 6.0 percent. There was particularly high demand for the Jetta, Lavida and Santana models. The highest absolute growth was attributable to the Teramont.
Overview of deliveries by the Volkswagen brand in March:
|Deliveries to customers
|March 2017||March 2018||Change in %||Jan - Mar 2017||Jan - Mar 2018||Change in %|
|Central and Eastern Europe||22,1||25,3||+14.6%||58,6||63,6||+8.4%|