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Volkswagen powers ahead in China

Fired up: Volkswagen’s China-only Lavida is the number-one seller in the world’s biggest motor market this year.

VW models dominate Chinese vehicle sales as passenger car market lifts 11 per cent

16 Jul 2014

VOLKSWAGEN has the top four best-selling models in the huge Chinese passenger car market as it outpaces arch rival General Motors so far in 2014.

VW’s Lavida, Santana, Sagitar and Jetta dominated first-half sales in the world’s biggest motor market, driving up sales of Volkswagen-branded cars in China by more than 17 per cent to a company record 1.81 million for the first six months.

Six of the top 10 sellers in the market wore VW badges. As well, the VW-produced Audi A6 came 16th in the rankings to top the luxury vehicle ladder.

GM reported 1.73 million sales in the first half, up 11 per cent, with its Buick Excelle ranked fifth behind the leading VW models.

Industry wide, Chinese passenger vehicle sales rose 11 per cent to 9.6 million vehicles, with SUV sales up more than 30 per cent. However, Bloomberg reports that Chinese commercial vehicle sales were down 3.2 per cent to 2.04 million units.

The Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers is now forecasting that the overall vehicle market – including trucks – will achieve 23.8 million sales this year, up 8.3 per cent on 2013.

Sales of VW-branded cars were almost evenly split between its two Chinese joint-venture partners, Shanghai Auto and FAW, at more than 900,000 apiece.

GM’s partnership with Shanghai Auto was the next most productive, resulting in more than 1.6 million sales.

The top-selling Chinese-branded car company was sixth-placed Changan, with 534,000 vehicles sold under its own badges, while turning out a similar number of vehicles with partners Ford, Mazda and Suzuki.

Global sales leader Toyota could manage only 12th place with 251,000 sales in partnership with FAW, as it struggles to overcome Chinese antipathy towards Japanese products.

VW hopes to sell more than 3.5 million vehicles in China this year – about a third of its entire global sales.

And far from resting on its laurels, it is aiming to expand its range from 63 models by 2018 while expanding its dealership network.

VW re-took the sales crown from GM in China last year for the first time in nine years.

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