German carmaking group Volkswagen (VW) is eyeing record-beating sales of more than 10 million vehicles for this year, encouraged by strong growth in 2013. A ‘healthy start’ into 2014 makes this goal seem not unrealistic.
In 2013, Volkswagen group (VW) had sold 9.73 million vehicles, which was 4.9 percent more than in the previous year of 2012, the Germany-based carmaker announced in its annual report released Thursday.
The sales had garnered revenue of 197 billion euros ($274 billion) last year, up 2.2 percent from 192.7 billion euros in 2012, VW said. After-tax profit at the group, however, was down to 9.1 billion euros after 21.9 billion in the year before.
The world's second biggest carmaker by sales said it had put up a strong showing in 2013, beating its target for the year despite a challenging competitive environment.
“We weren't helped either by our home market or by exchange rates,” VW Chairman Martin Winterkorn said in a statement, referring to a weaker German car market and a higher euro exchange rate which had weighed on earnings last year.
Winterkorn also said that he saw a good chance to clear the 10-million-deliveries mark in 2014, four years ahead of schedule. Apparently, the VW CEO is feeling encouraged by sales in the first two months of this year, climbing by 4.7 percent to 1.467 million vehicles. To reach 10 million cars, VW would need annual sales growth of about 3 percent.
Volkswagen, which includes altogether 12 carmaking brands, announced it would bring more than 100 new models onto global markets within the next two years. In addition, more emphasis would be laid on improving earnings and the quality of VW cars.
For 2013, VW management said it would propose to the general meeting in May an increase in dividend by 0.50 euros to 4 euros per share.
uhe/tj (dpa, Reuters)