Just recently, we’ve covered a lot of positive business news for VW Group. There was the Frankfurt Motor Show, where chairman Matthias Müller set out a stunningly confident vision for future investment in electric vehicles. Then there was Skoda’s barnstorming performance, which is causing some sibling rivalry with VW.
Now there’s yet more evidence that the group is continuing its comeback, with a recent round of very healthy-looking financial reports.
For a start, Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles are gaining ground worldwide. In October, global sales were up 5.1% compared to a year ago. Growth in Western Europe was modest (2.6%), but growth in the smaller markets was substantial — 17.1% in Eastern Europe, and well in excess of that in North and South America.
Then there’s the irrepressible SEAT. In October, the Spanish company delivered 4o,200 vehicles. That’s a 23.3% increase on last year’s figures and their strongest month to date in 2017. Operating profits for the first three-quarters are up by 12.3% over 2016. Much of the success is attributable to strong sales of the more expensive vehicles in its range.
But how about the group as a whole? That’s where the figures get fairly amazing. In the first three-quarters of the year, VW Group’s operating profits stood at 13.3 billion euros, an increase of 17.4% on last year. Think about that for a moment: in a marketplace crowded with other manufacturing giants, and footing a 2.3 billion euro bill in the US alone, VW Group has somehow managed to grow beyond anyone’s predictions.
That’s enough percentages — what does it all mean?
If your eyes glaze over after too many percentages, here’s the take-home point: the VW Group are looking, very definitely, as if they’re putting their recent difficulties behind them.
Recent difficulties, as we know, is a euphemism for Dieselgate.
Now, of course, it’s undeniable that the Dieselgate own goal is costing the group a stupendous amount of money. In addition to the 2.3 billion euros in the US (for fixing affected diesel vehicles), the scandal has siphoned off 14.5 billion euros in Europe.
Yet the rising sales show that the VW Group brands, far from being fatally wounded, are as popular as ever. As analyst Max Warburton put it:
…if we look at the company’s financials, including these latest Q3 figures, it’s almost like the scandal never happened…It’s extraordinary the way VW seems to have come out of this stronger.
Not every commentator has been so bullish about VW Group’s progress, with some playing up the continued costs for the company. But come on — it’s just two years since the storm first broke, and already their profits are rising? That’s got to be a massive step forward and a strong sign that the buying public has faith in the VW Group.
The VW stable contains some of the most enduring and iconic motoring brands in the world. And that’s why, in our view, the only way is up.
…Speaking of those enduring, iconic brands, don’t forget that we look after all of them. Whether you need your VW Group car serviced, repaired or MOTed, we offer a main dealer level of service at independent garage prices. Contact us today.
With thanks to www.just-auto.com for business information.