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by Tim Beissmann

Volkswagen Group expects to sell more than 10 million cars this year, reaching its ambitious target four years earlier than originally planned.

Sales across Volkswagen Group’s 12 automotive brands increased 4.9 per cent in 2013 to more than 9.7 million vehicles, and the German company has made a strong start in 2014, with sales up a further 4.7 per cent across January and February to 1.5 million vehicles.

Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn rates his company a “good chance” to exceed 10 million sales this year, surpassing the milestone well ahead of its earlier 2018 prediction.

Volkswagen says the introduction of 100 all-new and significantly updated models in 2014 and 2015 will support its growth ambitions. It highlights the brand-new Porsche Macan and Cayenne plug-in hybrid and all-new versions of the Audi A4 and Q7, Seat Ibiza, Skoda Fabia and Superb, and Volkswagen Passat as key models in its growth plans.

Porsche-Macan

The majority of the Group’s brands enjoyed growth in 2013. Bentley soared 18.9 per cent to more than 10,000 cars, Seat leapt 10.6 per cent to 355,000 units, Audi rose 8.3 per cent to 1.57 million vehicles, and Volkswagen climbed 3.4 per cent to 5.93 million.

Skoda was the Group’s only loser in 2013, blaming reduced vehicle availability and a tough market for a 2.0 per cent drop in sales to 921,000. It has made a strong start to 2014, however, with deliveries up 10.6 per cent in the first two months.

Winterkorn admits 2014 won’t be without its challenges, highlighting the difficult market environment, fierce competition from rivals, interest rate and exchange rate volatility, and fluctuations in raw materials prices as hurdles the brand will have to leap in the remaining nine months of the year.

The world’s largest car maker, Toyota, expects to become the first manufacturer to top 10 million sales this year following global deliveries of 9.98 million in 2013.




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