VW: to increase sales in China and US, eyeing 2018 global target of 10 mil units
Audi A3 and VW Golf to introduce Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) in 2012
In its business plan, Strategy 2018, the Volkswagen Group announced that it will increase its annual sales volume to ten million vehicles as its mid-term goal. During the January to June period in 2012, the VW Group marked its highest sales of 4.55 million units, displaying the stability of its growth. However, sales in Western Europe declined by 1% suffering from the debt crisis in the region. With the expected decline in the latter half of the year in the German market, which has been doing well in the past years, VW is planning to aggressively expand its market in the U.S. by recommencing its local production for the first time in 20 years, and in China, which has grown to be its largest market.
Decrease in profitability is also expected in the near future from severe cost competitions and higher demands for low-cost, compact vehicles. VW is planning to introduce a modular system strategy which uses common components across different classes and brands in order to streamline developments, lower costs, and attain more flexibility in its production. In 2012, it will introduce the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) to its main segment, transverse engine-powered vehicles, starting with the new Audi A3 and the VW Golf.
Under its plan for vehicles with electric drive, VW will launch hybrid versions of the VW Jetta and the Audi A6 and A8, as well as an EV (electric vehicle) of the Audi R8 e-tron. In 2013, VW will launch the Golf EV built on MQB, along with a subcompact, the up! EV, and a commercial van, the Caddy EV.
VW Group's revenue in the first half of 2012 was up 22.6% y/y to 95.4 billion euros, and its operating profit was up 6.7% to 6.5 billion euros. With a large number of models including the new Golf, waiting to be launched in the latter half of this year, the sales volume and the revenue for 2012 are expected to exceed the previous year. Operating profit is predicted to stay the same.