Gasgoo.com (Shanghai) - Volkswagen Group has consistently been a top performer in the Chinese passenger automobile market for several years now, with its sales growth rates constantly in the double digits. According to statistics compiled by Gasgoo.com (Chinese), VW has seen its annual sales volumes nearly double from 2010 to 2014 to 3.51 million units, while achieving annual compound growth of 17%.
However, beginning this February, VW has started to see its year-on-year sales growth rates fall into the negatives. In February, sales of domestic VWs totaled 272,200 units, down 2.2% from the previous February. Monthly sales volumes for March and April were 292,900 units and 272,300 units, representing negative growth rates of 4.7% and 11.4%, respectively. VW has sold 1.23 million automobiles in the country from January to April, 1.5% less than the 1.25 million automobiles sold over the first four months of last year. VW’s market share has fallen from 21% to 18.8%.
The VW Group’s decline is mainly due to the decreasing sales volumes of VW brand models. Shanghai VW and FAW-VW sold a total of 975,600 VW vehicles over the first four months of the year, representing negative year-on-year growth of 3.4%. By comparison, the two joint ventures sold over one million vehicles from January to April of 2014.
Sales of Shanghai VW’s key VW models, the Lavida, Santana and Passat, have all decreased over the first four months of the year. The sales decline for the Passat was the largest, at 15.1%, with sales of the Lavida and Santana falling 11% and 10%, respectively. Furthermore, the sales of the Gran Lavida fell 14.9%. By comparison, sales of the New Polo and Touran increased 21.8% and 27.3%, respectively.
On the other hand, FAW-VW reported that sales of its Magotan fell 25.1% from 74,900 units over the first four months of last year to 56,100 units this year. The sales decline for the CC was even larger at 40.6%. Sales of the Sagitar and New Bora fell 5.7% and 9.2%, respectively. Despite the fact that the Jetta and Golf still performed strongly, FAW-VW still suffered overall.
By comparison, the Audi and Skoda brands still managed to post positive year-on-year sales growth rates. Sales growth rates for the Audi brand for the first four months of the year was 3.9%, far less than the 25% from a year ago. Aside from the new A3, sales of other Audi models fell, with the sales of the A6L falling 6.9%. Skoda managed to still maintain year-on-year sales growth rates of 10.6%. This was due primarily to the introduction of the new Skoda Octavia, whose sales increased 56.8%, totaling 51,400 units.
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