For the first time in more than four and a half years, the German automaker Volkswagen Ag, the second largest in the world and the biggest in Europe saw its Group sales decline in April.
The German carmaker, which has been on a quest to top out as the largest automaker in the world after surpassing America’s General Motors back in 2013, has seen its monthly figures slide for the first time in years as the pressure mounts and its weaknesses have been exposed by the surprising clash at the top management level between ousted Chairman Ferdinand Piech and chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn and its proponents. The twelve brand group saw sales last month regress by 1.3 percent from the same period last year to a total of 853,200 units. The automaker recognized that its increases at home in Europe, which has been recovering after a six-year crisis-driven slump, have not been enough to compensate negative trends in Latin American markets and the slowing growth in China, the world’s largest auto market.
According to company figures, monthly sales at the group have not gone down on a group level and on a monthly basis since at least December 2010. The slide in April figures is not a surprise, since last week the automaker also announced its core Volkswagen passenger car brand saw deliveries drop 4.8 percent – they account for around 60 percent of group sales. “While we felt tailwinds in Western Europe and North America and could increase group deliveries strongly in some places, South America and Eastern Europe remain challenging” commented Christian Klingler, the company’s sales and marketing boss.