Volkswagen Group sales near pre-pandemic levels as bottlenecks ease

BERLIN, (Reuters) – Volkswagen Group (VOWG_p.DE) deliveries rose 12% to 9.24 million vehicles in 2023, it said on Tuesday, indicating a post-pandemic sales recovery as supply chain bottlenecks eased.

The carmaker’s unit sales dropped after the outbreak of the pandemic, hitting a low of 8.3 million in 2022 from 9.3 million in 2020, amid supply chain challenges from chip shortages to the war in Ukraine.

The Volkswagen brand earlier on Tuesday reported higher sales of 4.87 million cars, still significantly below pre-pandemic levels but higher than last year.

All-electric sales across the Volkswagen Group were up 35% to 0.77 million vehicles, the carmaker said, though executives have warned in recent months that EV demand was not developing as expected.

In China, where Volkswagen is fighting a swathe of local electric-only competitors, battery-electric vehicle deliveries reached 191,800, while total sales grew 1.6% to 3.2 million cars.

“It is not all about market share. Profitability continues to be our top priority,” Volkswagen’s China Chief Ralf Brandstaetter said in a statement.

The Group is due to release detailed figures on sales by brand in each region on Friday.

Its full-year results press conference is on March 13.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Paolo Laudani Editing by Miranda Murray and Rachel More