VW reported January sales up 17.4% to 491,900 vehicles, compared with 419,100 in January last year.
Sales in Europe fell 6.8% to 116,900 vehicles, compared with 125,500 the same period last year, with Western Europe, excluding Germany, down 12.3% to 60,000 vehicles and German sales down 3.9% to 38,100 vehicles. Central and Eastern Europe saw an increase of 8.8% to 18,200 vehicles.
Sales in Asian markets increased 43.7% to 251,100 vehicles, from which 235,000 units being sold in China. Sales in North America rose 10.6% to 43,800 units.
After reporting record sales in 2012, VW expects 2013 to bring sluggish sales, amid more uncertainties and a tougher competition in the US and China, where the automaker plans to expand. VW sales last year increased 11% to 9.07 million vehicles, boosting annual deliveries with 44% since 2009. Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said that 2012 was ‘the best sales year ever’ and a big step in the automaker’s 2018 strategy.
VW’s record sales reported in 2012 were accomplished thanks to Audi’s contribution with 1.46 million vehicles, up 12%. Porsche’s sales increased 19% to 141,075 vehicles, also a record for the brand. But analysts predict that this year VW’s sales will see an increase of only 0.7% to 9.15 million, the smallest increase since 2009.