Volkswagens Passenger Cars Still Leads

By: Natalie Anderson

Last February 2007 Volkswagen-Europe's largest automaker and producer of quality --- was able to sell a total of 36,653 new passenger cars in South Africa which is lower than its sale in January 2007 by 10.7 percent and in turn lower than its February 2006 sale by 0.5 percent. But despite the decline the February 2007 sales shows a growth in the passenger market of 3.26% compared to the same period in 2006.

According to Mike Gledinning, Director Sales and Marketing, Volkswagen of SA, "In analyzing the market, it is firstly important to note that February contained two less selling days than was the case in January, and from the perspective of the new car selling rate per day was in fact only-1.9 percent weaker than the selling rate per day in January. Furthermore, from the perspective of seasonal demand, the new passenger car market in February is traditionally around 5 to 6 percent weaker than in January." Glendinning also added, "Volkswagen of SA lead the February passenger market with 24.6% market share and total sales of 9019 units. This was due largely to a strong performance from the Citi Golf and Polo/Polo Classic ranges. Notably, Audi enjoyed an all time record monthly sales with 1,224 units sold-an outstanding achievement in the tough premium segment. The all new Audi TT recorded sales of 248 units in its debut month in South Africa."

Glendinning continued, "SEAT continues to perform consistently, with sales of 120 units in February. The light, medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments continued to record strong year on year growth. Volkswagen Commercial vehicles' performance was again led by the VW Caddy Panel van with sales of 237 units, thereby achieving segment leadership. --- In summary, a good performance from VW of SA in a tough market environment. March is seasonally a strong month which could be further bolstered by consumer buy ahead of possible 2nd quarter industry pricing driven by a weaker exchange rate which became entrenched in the latter part of 2006."

In conclusion, Glendinning said, "Given these circumstances, 2007 will undoubtedly be characterized by lower rates of growth in the size of the market than has been the case during the previous three years, and which contains the real possibility of the market contracting should new car price increases continue escalating in a manner similar to which prices increased in January."

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