Volkswagen AG, the second largest auto group in the world and the biggest European automaker, recently announced that deliveries of its namesake Volkswagen brand have slid 0.9 percent in March due to weakness in certain regions and markets.
Last month’s sales were impacted negatively by the downwards trend seen in places such as Brazil and Russia, once emerging regions that occupied a large chunk of global sales for the German carmaker. The company announced in a recent statement that its core passenger car brand delivered 558,600 units in March, down comparatively to the same month last year when it sold 563,600 autos. “The demanding conditions on markets in South America, above all Brazil, and on the Russian market again impacted the delivery performance. In contrast, the brand gained ground – in some cases quite significantly – in Western Europe, particularly in Spain, UK and Germany”, commented Christian Klingler, the group’s sales and marketing chief. Overall, during the first three months of the year, the core VW brand sold a total of 1.48 million autos – once more down 1.3 percent from the figure reported during the first quarter of 2014 (1.5 million units).
The brand gained ground in western Europe during the quarter, rising by almost 2 percent to 430,300 vehicles. The home market of Germany showed a successful turnaround, rising 8.3 percent to 144,100 units. The central and eastern Europe had a significant drop – 24.3 percent, with sales plunging in Russia by 47.2 percent to 18,100 autos. China also showed a surprising weakness, with the Asia-Pacific region down 0.6 percent in the period to March, the same as in the automaker’s largest single market.