VW said global sales slowed last month and that headwinds in Germany are increasing.
For March VW reported sales up 0.2% to 864,400 units, thanks to demand in the US and China which helped the automaker offset shrinking sales in the European market. In January and February the German automaker delivered 1.4 million vehicles, up 8.3%.
“The data for March clearly show that the markets are becoming even more difficult,” Christian Klingler, VW’s sales chief, said in the statement.
Analysts predict that European auto market will set a sixth consecutive year of declines, as the financial crisis still affects demand. VW expects sales this year to match those in 2012, as figures during the first quarter have already dropped compared with the same period last year, mainly due to weak demand in Europe and the lack of money to introduce new vehicles.
During the first quarter VW’s sales in Europe fell 5.9% and 7.2% in Germany, while sales in North America increased 15% and in China 21%. VW’s escape form the European whirl was the company’s expansion in emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil and China. VW’s MAN division announced yesterday that operating profit for the first quarter will with 140 million euro lower due to a large order to build turnkey diesel power plants.