Volkswagen forecasts an impressive year

Volkswagen forecasts an impressive year

GENEVA - Agence Frence-Presse
Volkswagen forecasts an impressive year

A man looks under the bonnet of a Volkswagen car at the Geneva Auto Show on March 6. The German carmaker thinks it will boosts deliveries in new markets. REUTERS photo

Auto giant Volkswagen expects to power ahead this year through the inroads it has made in diversifying its markets, with “impressive” deliveries recorded for early 2012 despite a crisis in Europe.

“Europe will certainly be watched in a very critical way,” said Volkswagen chairman Martin Winterkorn.
“But more southern European countries,” he said, adding that despite weakness in VW’s home continent, the group will “try to achieve 2011 results” this year.

The group more than doubled its profit to a record 15.4 billion euros ($20 billion) last year, while sales jumped by 25.5 percent to 159.3 billion euros.

Already for the first two months of the year, deliveries have been “impressive” said Winterkorn.
February deliveries were up 17.7 percent to 399,700 while the total for the first two months of the year topped 800,000 for the first time, reaching 818,800. That is 8.0 percent up from January and February 2011.

Crucially, VW appeared to be making strong inroads in the massive Chinese market, with vehicles delivered to China and Hong Kong soaring 66 percent to 31,352 in February, marking the first time it crossed the 30,000 barrier.

Emerging markets to provide catalyst

It is precisely emerging markets such as China, India and Russia that the group is banking on to make up for the weakness in the European market.

The United States was also starting to deliver some results, even though its venture there had not been without pain in previous years.