What scandal? Volkswagen has sold a record 10.3 million vehicles in 2016, shrugging off the impact of the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal that surfaced in 2015. VW Group sales – which include Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda brands among others – rose 3.8% last year to pass the 10 million mark, from 9.93 million in 2015.
The German giant’s record haul could mean that it ended 2016 as the world’s top carmaker by volume. Main rival Toyota, which ended 2015 above VW, is expected to announce 2016 sales figures next month. At the end of last year, the Japanese carmaker said that it expected to sell 10.09 million vehicles. We’ll see.
VW’s US sales fell just 2.6% in 2016, but the big numbers were from China, where sales increased by 12.2%. As European car sales rose to its highest point since 2007, VW dominated its home continent. The group had a strong end to 2016 – when December global sales were up 11.8% year-on-year.
“2016 was a very challenging year for us. We made strides in resolving and overcoming the diesel crisis and at the same time initiated a fundamental change process with ‘Together – Strategy 2025’ to get Volkswagen ready for the future of mobility. Nonetheless, we managed to stabilise operating business in difficult conditions: the fact that we handed over more than 10 million vehicles to customers last year bolsters the Group and its brands as we head for the future,” said VW CEO Matthias Müller.
“In 2017 we will be intensifying our efforts in the major technological fields of the future, in e-mobility, autonomous vehicles, the digitalisation of our products and our company. At the same time, though, we will not be neglecting today’s core business. Our Group brands will be putting almost 60 new vehicles on the road for their customers during the coming year,” Müller added.
This will be a big year for the VW Group, as it welcomes core models such as the new Volkswagen Polo and Touareg, Skoda Yeti, Seat Ibiza, Porsche Cayenne, Audi A8 and Bentley Continental GT (click on the links for spyshots of the upcoming models).
“We are also systematically continuing with our e-mobility offensive and will be launching more than 10 new models with electric drives in 2017/18,” Müller revealed. Cue Starship with Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.