The Volkswagen Group expects to exceed 10 million new car sales this year, four years earlier than the car making giant originally expected.
The prediction was made by group chairman Martin Winterkorn at the group's presentation of its 2013 financial results in Berlin, Germany, where he also confirmed that the group exceeded its own targets during the 2013 financial year.
In 2013, the Volkswagen Group's sales revenue increased by 2.2 per cent to €197 billion and it sold more than 9.7 million vehicles to customers, a rise of 400,000 new cars over 2012.
Winterkorn said: "2013 was an extremely challenging year for European car makers in particular. We weren't helped either by our home market or by exchange rates. Nevertheless, the group put up a strong showing despite the difficult conditions."
Already this year the car giant has enjoyed a 4.7 per cent increase in sales over January and February. "There is a good chance that we will exceed the 10 million deliveries mark this year,' said Winterkorn.
Volkswagen initially targeted 10 million sales by 2018, but cautiously brought its forecast forward to 2015 in response to better-than-expected sales four years ago.
The strength of the group's sales around all of the world's car markets – except South America, where it endured a weak market and ageing product range – has made it possible to hit the target even earlier.
The majority of the Volkswagen Group's brands enjoyed year-on-year global sales increases in 2013. Of the customer car brands, Bentley was the major mover, posting an 18.9 per cent year-on-year improvement to around 10,100 cars. Revitalised Seat expanded its sales by 10.6 per cent to 355,000, while Audi went up by 8.3 per cent to 1.57m. Volkswagen itself underwent a 3.4 per cent year-on-year increase in global sales to 5.93m vehicles.