Volkswagen Group say demand in China is starting to rebound, thanks to customers who are switching from public transport to personal vehicles, but warn that sales will not recover as quickly in other parts of the world.
VW brand sales and marketing boss Juergen Stackmann says sales of passenger cars in China were above year-earlier levels in the last week of April—a month in which sales in Germany were down 60% on the year, with the rest of Europe down 85% as some major markets like Italy and Spain came to a full stop. Sales in North America, meanwhile, were down 50%, and down 81% in South America.
Stackman predicted “a two-speed Europe. Southern Europe was hit really badly. Italy, Spain and to some extent France. We expect recovery to take much longer, it will be bathtub shaped,” he said.
Norther European countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany fared better. In Germany, sales to fleet customers remained almost at normal levels in April compared with a year earlier.