Volkswagen forecasts China sales in 2022 to be on par with last year’s levels as the impact of the pandemic and of semiconductor shortages lingers on.
The automotive manufacturer told German business newspaper Handelsblatt it was expecting to deliver 3.3 million vehicles – 14.3 per cent down from previous expectations.
“This corresponds to a market share of around 16 per cent,” Ralf Brandstatter – Volkswagen’s board member for China – told the outlet. “This makes us the clear number one in the Chinese market.”
After decades of market dominance, Volkswagen’s sales started to slow down forcing the German car maker to reinvent itself after profits from Chinese sales dropped in the summer of 2021.
According to Brandstatter, despite a game of catch-up, China’s zero-Covid policy as well as ongoing semiconductor shortages “affected our production and deliveries.”
“Despite a catch-up program, the losses cannot be compensated for over the course of the year,” the executive added.
Just today, 28,000 new Covid cases were reported in China, with significant outbreaks in Beijing as well as in the manufacturing province of Guangzhou.
Chinese officials have already taken remedial measures – including closing all non-essential shops and telling people to work from home if they can.
Brandstatter said Volkswagen’s 40 plants remain operational while some retailers were forced to close because they are located in lock-down regions.
Despite the current health situation, the manufacturer will continue to take advantage of the “market opportunities that China offers,” as the world’s second-largest economy will continue to grow until 2030.
“No other region of the world comes close to having such growth potential,” he concluded.
“A strong position in China strengthens our competitiveness worldwide.”