Volkswagen’s growth slows to a trickle

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In the past months and years, the Volkswagen Group sported the highest growth rates among its peers, helping Volkswagen finish second place in the ranking of the World’s Largest Automakers 2014. With growth rates twice as large as #1 Toyota and #3 GM, Volkswagen’s ascendance to the top spot looked assured for 2015. Suddenly, the race is wide open again, as Volkswagen’s formerly stellar growth slowed to a trickle in January.

Volkswagen Group January 2015
By Region Jan’15 Jan’14 YoY
Total 817,600 811,500 0.7%
Europe 287,400 279,400 2.9%
Western Europe ex Ger 152,200 149,300 1.9%
Germany 89,300 84,200 6.1%
Central Eastern Eur 45,900 45,900 0.0%
Russia 13,800 16,600 -16.9%
North America 63,200 58,000 9.0%
USA 39,200 36,900 6.1%
South Am 53,900 67,900 -20.7%
Brazil 38,500 48,500 -20.7%
Asia Pacific 381,300 375,000 1.7%
China 351,400 344,500 2.0%
By Brand Jan’15 Jan’14 YoY
Volkswagen Passenger Cars 507,100 521,600 -2.8%
Audi 137,700 124,900 10.3%
Porsche 16,000 12,200 31.2%
ŠKODA 87,000 80,900 7.5%
SEAT 27,700 26,000 6.4%
Volkswagen Commercial 30,600 31,600 -3.3%
MAN 5,600 7,800 -29.0%
Scania 5,000 5,600 -9.7%

Group deliveries grew only 0.7 percent in January. Sales in China were up 2 percent, in Europe, deliveries grew 2.9 percent. The 16.9 percent reduction of deliveries in Russia did not surprise, the 20.7 percent collapse of the South American market did.

Volkswagen’s passenger car brand is down 2.8 percent, while upscale Audi and Porsche could grow by the double digits.

Thankfully, Volkswagen has begun to report sales of its heavy truck and bus brands MAN and Scania.