INTERNATIONAL - Volkswagen sold a record 6.24 million of its VW-branded vehicles last year despite delivery problems caused by new anti-pollution rules, but warned the company would continue to face considerable challenges in 2019.
Still battling to recover from a 2015 emissions test cheating scandal and facing tighter European environmental rules, the German automaker has been trying to boost sales and cut costs to fund an ambitious shift to electric cars and automated driving.
At the same time, trade disputes with China driven by US President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policies have caused uncertainty in the global auto industry.
“2019 will once again be a year of enormous challenges for the brand, aside from volume growth we will focus even more on our profitability,” Chief Operating Officer Ralf Brandstaetter said.
VW brand sales rose 0.2 percent last year thanks to growth in South America, the United States and Europe, compensating for a decline in China and difficulties registering cars following the introduction of Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test (WTLP) emissions standards.