Volkswagen has announced record sales for 2012, having delivered more than nine million cars for the first time.
A startling year for the powerhouse VW Group was confirmed at a press conference prior to the Detroit Motor Show by CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Star performers were the Volkswagen brand and Audi, which rose 12.7 per cent and 11.7 per cent respectively, with worldwide totals of 5.74 million and 1.46 million. Porsche also performed strongly, fuelled by strong growth in the US. And the brands are targeting further sales success, with Audi hoping to overtake BMW as the number one premium brand by 2020.
It sees boosting sales in America as key to achieving that goal and hopes to continue the momentum it has gained since 2007. Sales are up 50 per cent since then.
Audi boss Rupert Stadler said it will be pushing diesel power for its A6, A7 and A8, plus the Q5, as Americans gradually warm to the fuel. And he wants to see global sales rise by 500,000 to 1.5 million by the end of 2015.
Skoda was up 6.8 per cent to 879,200 sales in 2012, but there was bad news for SEAT, which lost 29,000 sales to finish at 321,000, due to the harsh economic climate in southern and western Europe. “SEAT wants to get into profit as soon as possible,” warned Winterkorn.