Volkswagen says tough market to weigh on car sales growth in 2024


  • Sees 3% rise in deliveries this year vs 12% increase in 2023
  • Company plans a record number of new models in 2024
  • Shares down 0.65%

BERLIN, (Reuters) – Volkswagen expects a 3% rise in its car sales this year, down sharply from 2023 amid a gloomy economic outlook and growing competition.

Presenting the German automaker’s 2023 results, finance chief Arno Antlitz said the “general economic situation remains challenging,” but added “we are confident about 2024, despite the muted economic outlook and intense competition”.

Volkswagen’s deliveries to customers rose 12% to 9.24 million vehicles in 2023.

The automaker joins rivals in warning of a challenging year. When Stellantis reported results last month, it predicted a “turbulent” 2024.

Volkswagen said on Wednesday it expected a boost to vehicle orders in Western Europe in the coming months from new models including fully electric ones.

The company, which recently launched the electric ID.7 and plans a record 30 more new models during 2024, said it had “started the new year with a clearly positive trend” compared with the start of last year.

The new EV launches come as demand growth for electric cars has been slowing. German rival Mercedes-Benz said last month it was delaying its electrification goal by five years and would keep revamping combustion-engine models.

When asked about demand for EVs, Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume said they were “the future, period”, but added: “we’re flexible enough to adapt to changes in different markets”.

Volkswagen shares were down 0.65% to 120.16 euros at 1000 GMT, within a flat German market.

The automaker this month announced a muted outlook for 2024 and a higher dividend, joining rivals including Stellantis, Ford and General Motors in handing out cash to investors.

Volkswagen has already announced plans to cut administrative staff costs at its VW brand by a fifth, adding this would be through partial and early retirement rather than layoffs.

The operating profit margin for the group’s core mass-market brands rose to 5.3% last year from 3.6% in 2022, with the company targeting 8%.

($1 = 0.9153 euros)

Reporting by Christina Amann Writing by Miranda Murray Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter