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 percent and sales in the Chinese market rose 0.5 percent, despite both markets contracting overall. However, Volkswagen Group sales were down 2 percent 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.
The Volkswagen brand itself sold 3,715 million vehicles in 2018 and achieved a profit margin of 3.8 percent, down from 4.2 percent. It’s operating return was hit by continued ‘special’ payments relating to the Dieselgate scandal.
1: Tiguan: 861,331
2: Polo/Virtus: 855,179
3: Golf: 805,752
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.
1: A4: 344,623
2: A3: 304,903
3: Q5: 298,645
Skoda sold 1.254 million cars, up 4.4 percent. Its profit margin fell to 8 percent from 9.7 percent, 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.
1: Octavia: 400,210
2: Rapid: 195,270
3: Fabia: 186,213
Seat sold 528,029 cars in 2018, up 10.5 percent, fuelled by the success of its Ateca, Arona and Tarraco SUV line-up. The Spanish firm’s profit margin was up to 2.5 percent from 1.9 percent.
Seat's best sellers
1: Leon: 159,486
2: Ibiza: 120,287
Bentley sales dipped to 9115 from 10,552, while profit margins dropped from 3 percent to -18 percent. 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.
1: Bentayga: 4072
2: Continental GT: 2841
3: Flying Spur: 1627
Sales in 2018 were up to 268,451 from 255,683, but profit margins were down to 17.4 percent from 18.5 percent, attributed to extra research spending on electrification.
1: Macan: 93,953
2: Cayenne: 79,111
3: 911: 36,236
Lamborghini is managed under the Audi brand and Volkswagen doesn't break out its profits. In 2018, deliveries to customers increased by 51% over 2017, to 5,750 units, driven by the new Urus SUV.
1: Urus: 2565
2: Huracan: 1669
3: Huracan Spyder: 1121
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