Strong demand from China offsets decrease in sales in Europe and the Americas

Volkswagen delivered more than 5.8 million cars in 2016, representing a growth of 2.8% compared with the year before, despite pressure from the ongoing dieselgate scandal.

The German brand delivered 5,823,400 globally between January and December with 2,630,000 of those going to China alone, where demand was up by 14% on 2015. The East Asian country’s rapid growth and an 11.8% increase in deliveries for the wider Asia-Pacific region offset decreases in deliveries to Europe and the Americas.

Deliveries to Western Europe were down by 2% and Russia saw a decrease in deliveries of 5.4%. Conversely, Central and Eastern European deliveries grew by 6.9%, but with less than 225,000 cars delivered to the region, the growth had little impact on overall results on the continent.

More significant was Germany’s 7.2% decrease in deliveries – representing a loss of 43,200 cars compared to 2015 – and a 26.8% fall in deliveries for South America, with a significant 35% reduction of deliveries in Brazil, where 218,200 customers received their cars in 2016. The USA received 322,900 cars last year, a decrease of 7.6% on the year before.

The Asian and Pacific regions and VW’s largest market, China, can, therefore take most credit for propping up its delivery numbers through 2016, when the brand faced heavy criticism and financial penalties following the emissions scandal, widely referred to as Dieselgate, of 2015. An uncertain global economy and localised political issues also presented VW with a tougher economic climate than before.

VW brand board member for sales Jürgen Stackmann said: “The Volkswagen brand ended 2016 on a successful note. Almost 6 million customers chose our brand – and remained loyal to us in challenging times. These encouraging results at the close of 2016 give us confidence for 2017 – a year in which there will be several important product premieres in all regions.”

Around 24 hours before its figures were released, Volkswagen launched its Tiguan Allspace at the Detroit motor show. The model and its US-focused larger sibling, the Atlas, are charged with capitalising on strong demand for SUV growth, particularly in China and the US.

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