VW to break sales record, but outlook grim | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 11.12.2012
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VW to break sales record, but outlook grim

Thanks to double-digit growth in China, eastern Europe and the US, German carmaker Volkswagen is set to reach a new sales record this year. However, the outlook for next year is bleak it says.

By the end of November, Volkswagen had delivered 5.22 million cars to customers around the world - 11.2 percent more than between January and November last year, the German car group said Tuesday.

On a monthly basis, sales in November were even slightly higher than the annual average, growing by 11.5 percent as the auto maker was bucking the general trend of slumping sales in the European car industry.

"For the whole of this year, we are well on the way of reaching a new sales record," VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn told a staff meeting in Wolfsburg on Tuesday.

Winterkorn attributed VW's success to the firm's high flexibility and international outreach, as well as to the premium quality of its products.

In the world's biggest car market China, Volkswagen was able to boost 2012 sales by 19 percent to a total of 1.9 million vehicles by November. In North America, some 563,000 units were sold, 25 percent more, while sales in Russia even gained a stunning 45 percent.

However, CEO Martin Winterkorn also said that the coming year 2013 would become a "tough year" for the global auto industry in general, and for Volkswagen in particular.

Nevertheless, he announced new investments to the tune of 1.8 billion euros ($2.3 billion), at a time when other European carmakers such as Opel, Peugeot and Ford are shutting down factories in efforts to match output with dwindling demand.

uhe/sej (dapd, Reuters)

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