Volkswagen AG counts on China to remain its primary worldwide market, but due to a conservative strategy that imposed more limitations on the local capacity growth, sales in the country are expected to be around 10% better than in 2013.
According to Volkswagen China President Jochem Heizmann, who talked to reporters in Guangzhou as they prepared for the annual auto show there opening on Thursday in the southern Chinese city, the growth is expected to slow a little – from 16% in 2013 to 10% this year because of the capacity constraints. This is, according to the VW official, the only factor that limited VW AG’s expansion and set it below the overall growth of the general auto market in China. He added that a new strategy has been put in place and the automaker aims to increase manufacturing investment to ensure capacity limitations are no longer an issue in the near future.
Heizmann added that he sees the VW Group – whose brands range from the affordable Skoda to the ultra-luxurious Bentley – reaching total deliveries of at least 3.6 million vehicles in China in 2014. Back in late 2013, the carmaker acknowledged it needed to invest 18.2 billion euros ($22.8 billion) from 2014 to 2018 to secure an increased local output from its production facilities in China – aiming a total of 4 million vehicles annually.