During the first half of the year VW’s sales increased thanks to a grow in demand from China, helping offset losses in Europe.
From January to June, VW’s sales increased 5.5% to 4.7 million vehicles compared with the same period in 2012. China sales were up 18.7% and 12.3% in North America, helping VW’s overall sales reach ‘satisfactory’ levels, as described by the automaker’s sales chief Christian Klingler.
During the same period sales in Europe dropped 3.5% to 1.87 million units as many countries in the region are still stuck in recession. VW Group’s sales in China in the first half of the year were up 4.4% to 2.9 million vehicles. VW’s Audi also increased 6.4% in China to 780,500 units.
VW also reiterated its plans to open five new plants in the country by the end of this year, part of the automaker’s strategy to open 7 new vehicle and components plants in China. Currently, VW manufactures 20 Audi, Skoda and VW models in China, but aims at increasing this number to 30 models by 2015, possibly including the Seat brand.
VW plans to invest 9.8 billion euro to expand in the Chinese market in the following three years. According to VW, part of the money will be used to build a new plant, and the rest of the investment will be used to boost marketing and R&D work for new energy vehicles.