VW cuts its Western Europe sales target for 2012 by 140,000 units image

Volkswagen AG has cut its internal 2012 sales target for Western Europe by up to 140,000 vehicles, according to a German daily newspaper.

“The VW group is tentatively selling more cars this year than last year. But it is correct that it will be somewhat less than what was originally planned. We are talking however of a maximum of 140,000 cars”, VW Group’s works council head Bernd Osterloh told Handelsblatt in a report which will be published on Friday.

The estimate is however lower than the 250,000 figure reported last month by Handelsblatt, which VW had denied. Last month, VW said it doesn’t expect a significant rebound in the European auto market over the next one to two years.

The newspaper also said the carmaker was also cutting its planned production capacity this year. Citing a copy of a VW internal capacity planning report, Handelsblatt said management board member Michael Macht, in charge of production, had estimated up to 9.4 million vehicles would be built this year, 0.3 million less than the previous estimate. The figure includes those made by MAN and Scania truck units.

Europe’s largest carmaker is on course to overtake U.S. rival General Motors this year as the world’s second-biggest carmaker, aiming to sell 10 million vehicles by 2018, up from the 8.36 million recorded last year.