Volkswagen AG chairman Ferdinand Piech said the company’s sales in China are expected to grow at least 9 percent in 2013 after increasing 10 percent or more this year.
Piech said growth is fueled by consumers buying their first cars. “The growth is tremendous. You have so many people without cars and we expect a few buyers for our products,” Piech was quoted as saying by Bloomberg in Tianjin, China, at the World Economic Forum.
“We are happy also with 9 percent in China. Double digit is risky, because if there are little things happening in the world, it’s dangerous for us. As long as it’s around 10 percent, plus or minus one percent, it’s fine,” Piech added.
Until 2016, Volkswagen plans to invest 14 billion euros in China, its biggest market, in order to increase production in the country. However, VW is currently facing slowing demand in China, as economic growth decelerates.
In the first half of this year, Volkswagen generated 1.78 billion euros in operating profit from its Chinese ventures, up 53 percent from a year ago. Vehicle deliveries during the first seven months increased 17 percent to 1.51 million vehicles, representing 29 percent of the carmaker’s global sales.