The empire sold 10.9 million cars worldwide in 2018, largely thanks to trend-busting growth EU and China

The Volkswagen Group’s global car sales crept up to 10.9 million last year from 10.77 million in 2017, largely down to gains in the European Union (EU) and China.

The group’s sales in the EU were up 1.2% and sales in the Chinese market rose 0.5%, despite both markets contracting overall. However, Volkswagen Group sales were down 2% year on year in the US, with a total of 960,000.

The overall rise was largely thanks to the success of the Group’s expanded SUV line-up, and that trend is set to continue following the recent launches of the Volkswagen T-Cross and Skoda Kamiq.

Despite that, however, long-standing saloon and hatchback models remain highly popular, still accounting for several of the Group’s best-sellers in 2018.

Here’s how each of the main Volkswagen Group car brands fared last year, with their 2018 best-sellers.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen’s compact SUV bulks up for a bigger slice of segment sales, but faces strong competition from the Volvo XC40 and Mazda CX-5

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Volkswagen

The Volkswagen brand itself sold 3,715 million vehicles in 2018 and achieved a profit margin of 3.8%, down from 4.2%. It’s operating return was hit by continued ‘special’ payments relating to the Dieselgate scandal.

Volkswagen’s best-sellers

1: Tiguan: 861,331

2: Polo/Virtus: 855,179

3: Golf: 805,752

Audi 

The upmarket volume brand sold 1.812 million cars in 2018, down 3.5% on the previous year. As a result, profit margins fell from 8.5% to 7.9%. According to Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess, Audi was the brand hardest hit by the new WLTP test procedures, and it's still likely to be affected by that during 2019.

Audi’s best-sellers

1: A4: 344,623

2: A3: 304,903

3: Q5: 298,645

Skoda 

Skoda sold 1.254 million cars, up 4.4%. Its profit margin fell to 8% from 9.7%, but the drop was largely attributed to the effects of exchange rates. Notably, the Czech firm has experienced production issues in that it has struggled to find enough capacity to meet demand for its Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs.

Skoda’s best-sellers

1: Octavia: 400,210

2: Rapid: 195,270

3: Fabia: 186,213

Seat

Seat sold 528,029 cars in 2018, up 10.5%, fuelled by the success of its Ateca, Arona and Tarraco SUV line-up. The Spanish firm’s profit margin was up to 2.5% from 1.9%. 

Seat's best sellers

1: Leon: 159,486

2: Ibiza: 120,287

3: Arona:110,926

Bentley

Bentley sales dipped to 9115 from 10,552, while profit margins dropped from 3% to -18%. The delay in the start-up of the new Continental GT and a restructuring of the firm’s pension fund were the key reasons for that fall, according to the Volkswagen Group.

Bentley’s best-sellers

1: Bentayga: 4072

2: Continental GT: 2841

3: Flying Spur: 1627

Porsche 

Sales in 2018 were up to 268,451 from 255,683, but profit margins were down to 17.4% from 18.5%, attributed to extra research spending on electrification.

1: Macan: 93,953

2: Cayenne: 79,111

3: 911: 36,236

Lamborghini

Lamborghini is managed under the Audi brand and Volkswagen doesn't break out its profits, but sales in 2018 jumped from 6571 to 4056, driven by the new Urus SUV.

1: Urus: 2565

2: Huracán: 1669

3: Huracán Spyder: 1121

Read more

Volkswagen Group expands electric car plans​

2019 Skoda Scala UK pricing and specifications revealed​

Volkswagen T-Cross review

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Comments
12

12 March 2019

Not surprized by T-Roc and Tiguan success, but, I am amazed 36,000 911's are sold every year. Not my cup of tea despite it obviously being an amazing sports car judging by the continued sales success.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

12 March 2019

Both Lamborghini and Bentley figures don't add up 

Otherwise this story does give some perspective of the total automotive industry in 2018.

12 March 2019

Thank god there weren’t really 41k Bentaygas released into the world last year, but perhaps 10% of that.

12 March 2019
Could it be VW produced 10.9m but only sold like 8m? The numbers don't add up to 10.9

12 March 2019
Sitikchai wrote:

Could it be VW produced 10.9m but only sold like 8m? The numbers don't add up to 10.9

That only the top 3 models are listed. The numbers for things like the A1, Q3, Cayman and Boxster aren't there.

12 March 2019

Did Dianne Abbott do these numbers? 

12 March 2019

Did you notice the first line? = 3,700 MILLION vehicles sold, really Autocar, did your proof reader used to work at the Grudaian? 1 new car for ever couple on the planet :) :)

12 March 2019
40000 Bentayga? We think not.

12 March 2019

Very surprised the Tiguan is their top selling model now, I hadn't realised it was that successful

12 March 2019
Can I also have an article on how many FCA, BMW, PSA, Renault-Nissan-Merc, Ford, Volvo, JLR etc etc etc etc... have sold as well please...

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