Germany’s Volkswagen group saw sales growth stagnate somewhat in August, with improved trade in the US and China still needed to offset the slowing European market. Moreover, a massive hail storm rained on VW’s parade.
In August, Volkswagen delivered 720,400 passenger cars and light trucks to customers, just 900 more than in the same month a year ago, the German carmaker announced Friday.
The world's third-largest car manufacturer attributed the stagnation to a severe hail storm which had damaged about 20,000 cars, substantially slowing down shipments for the month.
Moreover, the car slump in crisis-hit European markets was still felt in August, Volkswagen said, resulting in a 2.7-percent dip in sales within the European Union so far in 2013.
“Despite the difficult circumstances this year, we expect full-year 2013 delieveries to be higher than in 2012,” Volkswagen group's Chief of Distribution Christian Klinger said in a statement.
By the end of August, the 12-brand carmaking group appeared well set to reach its target of selling 9.5 million vehicles this year. Sales in the first eight months had reached 6.17 million, which was 4.5 percent more than by the same time last year.
Demand for VW cars was significantly higher in China where the group has so far sold 2 million vehicles this year - up 18 percent on 2012 figures. In addition, the US car market took in 9.2 percent more cars from VW. Volkswagen's home market Germany, however, was faltering with a 4.4 drop in deliveries.
uhe/msh (dpa, Reuters)