VW Group: low sales in 2021, but booming electrification (update)
The German car manufacturing group Volkswagen sold 8,88 million vehicles in 2021. That’s 4,5% less than in the pandemic year 2020 and the lowest figure in ten years, also due to the sales fall in China, where VW has now temporarily closed 2 factories because of covid-19. The sales of electrified cars, on the contrary, boomed in 2021: +96% for full-electric, +61% for plug-in hybrids.
The alarming global sales figures are due to the chip shortage, says Marketing and Sales Director Klaus Zellmer. “We’ve had unusually challenging circumstances,” he declared, “but the sales result is still satisfying because the order books for 2022 are filled.”
The brand Volkswagen went just under 5 million sold VWs, 8,1% less than last year. Audi receded only 0,7%, but Skoda went down by 12,6%. On the positive side were Seat (+10,3%) and Porsche (+10,9%). The Stuttgarter manufacturer of sports cars sold more cars than ever in 2021. Skoda boss Thomas Schäfer, on the contrary, described 2021 as “one of the most challenging years in the history of Skoda Auto.”
China is the market to worry about
The brand Volkswagen went just under 5 million sold VWs, 8,1% less than last year. Audi receded only 0,7%, but Skoda went down by 12,6%. On the positive side were Seat (+10,3%) and Porsche (+10,9%). The Stuttgarter manufacturer of sports cars sold more cars than ever in 2021. Skoda boss Thomas Schäfer described 2021 as “one of the most challenging years in the history of Skoda Auto.”
The main reason for the slow sales was VW’s most important market, China. The sales of VW products shrunk by 14% over there to 3,3 million units. It was the last quarter of 2021, particularly, where sales were hit. The VW Group sold 754 700 vehicles, a whopping 36,5% less than the year before.
On top of that, there’s an outbreak of covid-19 in two factories VW runs together with partner FAW. The first is an assembly plant in Tianjin (near Beijing), where five models of the VW Group are assembled, producing 300 000 vehicles per year. In the same city, a parts plant had also to close its doors temporarily. VW hopes to restart production soon and recuperate the lost production.
The light at the end of the tunnel for VW seems to be electrification. Last year, the group already sold 452 900 fully electric cars, and that’s almost doubling (+96%) the 2020 results. It makes the VW Group the most significant player in Europe for electric car sales, and the number two in the US, after Tesla.
The ID.4 (119 650 units sold) and ID.3 models (some 76 000 sold) were the most popular; at Audi, it was still the initial e-tron (49 500 sold). Skoda managed to deliver 44 700 Enyaqs and 4 400 units of the iV Citigo.
Also, the plug-in hybrids saw a serious increase. With total sales of 309 500 PHEVs, Volkswagen Group saw the figures rise by 61% compared to 2020. Seat and Cupra sold a total of 60 600 electrified cars in 2021, most of them PHEVs, as the Cupra Born has only just arrived on the market, and the small electric Mii seems to be a slow seller. The PHEVs were an apparent success as the sales of electrified cars quadrupled last year.