VW to See Stagnant Sales in 2013, After 2012 Record image

Although VW posted record sales for 2012, the company prepares for more uncertainties and tougher competition in China and the US, where it plans to boost growth.

According to an announcement made by VW today, January 14th, its sales in 2012 increase 11% to 9.07 million units, 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. The increased US and China sales, helped the company make up for the loss in Europe, where the debt crisis continues to affect demand.

VW’s sales in Europe have dropped more than 27% since 2007 and the company is aware that to continue to grow in Germany will be a real challenge. In December, VW’s sales in its home market fell 16% in December and 2.9% for the entire 2012.

“Many markets are losing momentum,” Winterkorn said at an event in Detroit. “If the European markets are getting weaker, we need to expand abroad.”

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.

The German automaker plans to double its lineup of SUV models in order to maintain growth. VW comes at the North American International Auto Show with the Crossblue SUV, a rival for Ford’s Explorer, Toyota’s Highlander and Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee.