Volkswagen Group China continues to outpace overall market in first quarter of 2019
- Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein: “With the continued efforts in our SUV offensive, new NEV launches, as well as the new JETTA brand, we have the potential to outperform the market and gain market share.”
- First quarter sales exceed overall market performance, with momentum continuing through the rest of the year
- China-US trade frictions and expected tax cuts affect market activity
Volkswagen Group China today announced deliveries for the first quarter of 2019: together with its two Chinese joint ventures, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN and FAW-Volkswagen, the Group delivered over 946,600 (1,010,600, -6.3 percent) vehicles in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, including around 40,000 imported vehicles. “We have delivered a solid performance in the first quarter. It shows the continued confidence of customers in our products and services,” said Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China. Despite facing numerous headwinds in the market, including China-US trade frictions and customers waiting for expected new tax cuts, Volkswagen Group China continued to outperform the overall China market.
“Last year, Volkswagen Group China outperformed the growth of the Chinese passenger car market every single month, and each one of our brands performed better than the overall market. Coming from such a high base, the performance of the first quarter this year is well within our expectations,” Wöllenstein said. “With the continued efforts in our SUV offensive, new NEV launches, as well as the new JETTA brand, we have the potential to outperform the market and gain market share. We strive to maintain our number one position, prioritizing our customers by meeting their increasing needs and demands with exciting product portfolios and the most advanced mobility solutions.”
The Volkswagen Brand delivered 703,400 (755,700; -6.9%) vehicles in the first quarter of 2019. The brand increased its market share and thus partly resisted the general market sentiment. SUV models were instrumental in the solid performance with a 40% increase in SUV deliveries. SUVs now account for over 20% of total brand deliveries in China, from 13.5% one year ago. The brand started to reap the benefits from its Move Forward brand Initiative launched in 2018 with the extension of its SUV portfolio from 3 to 6 SUV models. The locally produced T-ROC, Tayron and Tharu models were added, and flagship model Touareg renewed. With 5 new models launching this year - the next generation Sagitar and T-Cross already introduced - the brand is confident about continuing its momentum for the remainder of 2019.
In China, Audi continued to grow in the first quarter: In the first three months the number of deliveries increased by 3.3 percent to a record-breaking figure of 159,300 automobiles. In March too, Audi set a new record with 55,300 vehicles sold (+2.3%). Demand was particularly strong for the Audi A4, with the year-on-year increase of 7.6 percent bringing monthly sales to 14,900 units. Since the start of the year over 43,000 Chinese customers chose an A4 (+15.1%). Deliveries of the Audi A5 also increased sharply in the first quarter, up 48.6 percent to 4,300 units.
In March, ŠKODA delivered 20,500 (28,100 vehicles; -27.0%) vehicles in China, its largest single market. In the first quarter, the manufacturer recorded a total of 64,300 (79,200; -18.8%) deliveries to customers.
In China, Porsche’s deliveries fell 10 percent to 16,900 units between January and March. One of the major reasons behind this slump is customer reticence brought on by the announcement of a lower VAT rate beginning in April. Meanwhile, Porsche China has been actively responding to the new China 6 emissions standards, and adjusting its vehicle offering to provide compliant products for the needs of the market, which also contributed to the sales dip to some extent.