2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Volkswagen is counting on positive development in the Chinese market after the trend reversal at the end of last year. At Audi, it is hoped that the premium segment will develop even better than the overall market.
The Volkswagen Group is expecting sales growth of more than six percent in its most important market in China this year. After the "trend reversal" since the end of 2015, the world's largest car market continues to develop positively in the spring, said China board member Jochem Heizmann before the opening of the international auto show in Beijing. VW boss Matthias Müller was absent from China because he was supposed to meet US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the opening of the Hanover Fair.
The "Auto China", which opens this Monday in Beijing, is one of the most important trade fairs in the industry worldwide. Around 800,000 visitors are expected by May 4, and around 2000 exhibitors from 14 countries will present their innovations.
VDA expects the market to be robust
According to Heizmann's expectations, the Chinese market will grow this year in the same way as the economy as a whole: "Our aim is at least to keep up." According to the government's forecast, China's economy is expected to grow between 6.5 and 7 percent.
Heizmann said that no other car market in the world is growing on such a scale today: "That is certainly a positive outlook." In the previous year, the VW group in China had to accept a minus of 3.4 percent.
According to the VDA industry association, the Chinese car market is developing"more robust than many expected". For 2016, managing director Klaus Bräunig expects an increase of six percent to 21.3 million new vehicles. The German manufacturers still held a "strong" market share of 20 percent in 2015. In the previous year, however, the value was a good percentage point higher. According to experts, Chinese manufacturers are catching up.
Tight fight in the premium segment
The upper-class market in the People's Republic is also growing surprisingly strongly again, increasing by ten percent in the first quarter. Audi China boss Joachim Wedler called the outlook "absolutely positive". By the summer, Audi will renew its model range to 60 percent in China: "It will be a sure-fire success." Wedler also admitted that Audi was being pinned down by competitors such as BMW and Mercedes. "The competition is trying to gain market share - successfully in some areas."
Despite the massive provisions of over 16 billion euros due to the emissions scandal for 2015 alone, VW is sticking to its plans for investments of four billion euros in China this year. The "extraordinary importance" of China for the group will grow in the future, said Heizmann.
Diesel scandal in China has no effect
For the first time, the core brand VW sold every second car worldwide in the People's Republic in the first quarter, but where it has to be produced with joint venture partners. While the global sales of Europe's largest carmaker stagnated in March, they rose by a good six percent in China.
The diesel affair causes Volkswagen comparatively few problems in China, because so far only 1950 imported vehicles have been affected. The technical preparations for the conversion have been made, said Heizmann. When asked about the growing dependence on China, he said that the priorities had to be set correctly and that the market had to be properly assessed together with the joint venture partners: "What is happening here? Which cars do we need here and how fast?" (dpa)
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