Volkswagen, the second most important car company in Norway, will stop selling new cars with an internal combustion engine (ICE) at the end of the year.
“As a farewell to cars burning fossil fuel, the last Golf will be ordered at the end of the year,” declared Ulf Tore Hekneby, CEO of the group Møller, the Norwegian VW importer. “In many ways, this will be the end of an era, but it also means that we will start a new era where we will be part of the solution and not the problem.”
Norway is a significant producer and exporter of fossil fuels. Nevertheless, it has fixed itself the ambitious goal of selling only zero-emission cars as of 2025, ten years before the European Union (which has 2035 as a target).
Already now, electric cars represent more than 80% of new car registrations in Norway, 83,4% to be correct for the first nine months of the year 2023, according to the Norwegian Information Council on Road Traffic (OFV) data.
Number two in the market
Volkswagen is the second-largest car seller in Norway, representing a 12,3% market share. Number one, with 21,4% by far the most important, is Tesla. Since the start of its existence, it has only sold electric cars.
As of 2024, Volkswagen will concentrate on selling cars of the ID. electric range. Last month, the ID.4 SUV was Norway’s second most popular model, only preceded by the Tesla Model Y, a direct competitor.
Last June, the Swedish/Chinese car manufacturer Volvo also decided to stop selling diesel cars in Norway.
In the third quarter of this year, Volkswagen Group’s turnover increased by 12% to €78,8 billion. The operating benefit has also increased to €4,9 billion, representing an operating margin of 6,2%. VW expects to sell 9 or 9,5 million cars this year, representing a 10 to 15% higher turnover than last year.
VW’s sales rose by 20% to 2,34 million units in Q3 in Western Europe, but in China, sales decreased by 5,8% to 837 200 units for the same period. VW Group realized some 40% of its sales in China until recently.
Still, it has difficulties selling its electric vehicles due to the big competition of Tesla and several local manufacturers specializing in EVs. VW will publish its complete financial results on 26 October.