VW shrugs off auto slump by lifting outlook for 2019 deliveries

Christoph Rauwald

Volkswagen AG lifted its outlook for global vehicle deliveries last year after gaining market share in regions including China and Europe.

The world’s largest automaker expects 2019 deliveries to be “slightly above” the prior year, according to an investor presentation by Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess published on its website Thursday. The company had previously anticipated deliveries to be on par with 2018. VW plans to release detailed sales numbers for last year on Tuesday.

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen AG.

Global carmakers scaled down production last year when sales started to decline in some regions due to slower economic growth and trade friction. VW’s higher outlook adds to evidence the slump may have been less pronounced than initially feared, at least for some companies. Demand for SUVs remained robust and sales of electric and hybrid cars accelerated.

Some luxury carmakers have also reported higher sales. Daimler AG earlier Thursday reported a 1.3% sales gain last year at its Mercedes-Benz brand to a record 2.34 million vehicles. BMW said this week 2019 was a record year for car sales and this year could be even better.