China is set to become Volkswagen group’s biggest market, with reports suggesting it will sell more than one million units in the country for the first time this year.
The news will be seen as a milestone in the development of the Chinese market, and as a vindication for Volkswagen’s decision to become one of the first international carmarkers to move into it. The group now commands a 19 percent share of the total market for cars in China, set to equal sales of over one million units this year across the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda brands.
In the first six months of 2008, VW Group sold 531,614 vehicles in China, just 3000 fewer than were sold in its home market of Germany. Continuing strong growth in the Chinese market, in contrast to stagnation in Europe, means it’s regarded as a near-certainty that full-year Chinese sales will surpass those in Germany, traditionally VW Group’s strongest market.To protect its lead, Volkswagen is planning to introduce more models into the market, including specific China-only vehicles.