In 2017, the brand delivered 6.23 million vehicles to buyers worldwide – an increase of 4.2 percent. It was the most successful year in Volkswagen's history, mostly driven by the Chinese market. China has become the biggest automotive market in the world and, for the first time, Volkswagen delivered more than 3 million vehicles there, corresponding to a 5.9 percent increase.
The Model Offensive continues to pick up Speed
A prerequisite for Volkswagen's current success is the largest model offensive in the brand's history. It revolves around popular all-rounder SUVs. The Tiguan family alone recorded a 38 percent increase last year. Volkswagen sold 720,000 units, making it the most successful year for this model range. The Tiguan is now one of the ten most purchased cars in the world. In 2018, Volkswagen will continue the model offensive with increasing momentum. There will be additional novelties in the current year, including the new Touareg, which will celebrate its world premiere on March 23, in Beijing.
Also, the second important element of the reorientation, the regionalization, is very successful. Last year, Volkswagen increased its sales in Brazil by almost 20 percent. In the U.S., there was a 5.2 percent increase. This positive development was made possible by localized models, specially developed for certain regions by local experts. In this way, those models can aim precisely for people's desires and expectations.
The biggest Challenges are yet to come
2018 has the potential to become another good year for Volkswagen. Sales should continue to go up. Revenues, operating income and margin should increase as well. But, despite of all the success, at Wednesday's press conference, Herbert Diess will make it clear that the biggest challenges are yet to come. For example, by 2022 the company will invest 22.8 billion euros world worldwide, to make Volkswagen locations fit for the future of mobility.
At the same time, Volkswagen will accelerate the transformation of all business areas, particularly the electric strategy. The German location of Zwickau in the state of Saxony will become a European center of electro-mobility.