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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles announces model change

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles announced the new generation of the successful T-series, the T6, at the press conference for the IAA Commercial Vehicles show today. ‘The IAA is the starting point for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to embark on an intensive period. In 2015, we are renewing our most important model – the T-series,’ said Dr. Eckhard Scholz, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. 

During the first eight months of this year, the brand increased its worldwide deliveries of the T5 series by almost six per cent to 108,000 units. In August alone, 14 per cent more T5 vans were delivered to customers than in the same month last year. Since the beginning of the year, customer orders have risen so fast that the brand's main assembly plant in Hanover, where the majority share of T5 units are produced, has reached the limit of its capacity. To meet demand, the plant is now working an extra night shift. The order books remain full well into the first quarter of 2015. This year will be another record year for the brand icon which started sales in 1950 and in now in its fifth generation.

Dr. Eckhart Scholz, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle, said: ‘The T5 is our best-seller and demand remains buoyant as before. That's why we are working extra shifts. We see the uninterrupted enthusiasm of our customers for the success model as both recognition and incentive to make the next model into a best-seller. We can already announce today that we are proud to present the T6 within the foreseeable future. It will incorporate the excellent characteristics of the

T5 and it will also feature a whole load of new technology innovations. The result will again be an outstanding, reliable, technically refined, mobile companion for our customers to pursue their trade and leisure time activities. Until then, the T5 will remain our sales hit. The high level of customer satisfaction is evidence of this!’

Over the past two years, all employees have worked hard on producing the new model. The TRISTAR concept vehicle presented at the IAA already gives an outlook on the various goods and passenger transportation solutions which the T6 will offer in future. 

The brand is currently well positioned and sales increased slightly during the first half of 2014 to 221,000 light commercial vehicles (previous year: 220,000).

Sales figures dropped from January to August 2014 by one per cent to 4.724 billion euros (previous year: 4.777 billion euros) mainly because of the difficult market situation inSouth America. However operating results have grown by 14 per cent to 280 million euros (previous year: 246 million euros). This is quite substantial and is primarily due to the improved model mix, Scholz explained. The company managed to market models with a higher value and a larger profit contribution.

The results are driven by stable and continuously rising sales results inWestern Europe. ‘In the first eight months of this year, we shipped seven per cent more to our most important market region. At the same time, the orders received rose. Currently, every third light commercial vehicle and new pick-up registered inGermanycomes from our production plants and inEuropethis figure is every fifth,’ emphasised Scholz.

In Western Europe Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 188,200 light commercial vehicles from January to August 2014 (previous year: 175,800, +7.1%).

On the other hand, profits were reduced by risks such as market downturns in South America and Eastern Europe and currency losses, especially caused by the Argentinean peso. Despite the Ukraine crisis, Eastern Europe remains astonishingly stable with a slight drop of 0.3 per cent to 25,000 units delivered.

The situation looks totally different in the second main sales region.
‘In South America weak economic activity in Brazil and Argentina will continue to pose problems for us,’ said Scholz. In South America shipments dropped by 46.5 per cent to 26,500 light commercial vehicles (previous year: 49,400). However, the figures for the previous year also contain some 15,000 shipments for the T2 which ceased production inBrazil last year. This distorts the picture somewhat.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is currently experiencing a broad spectrum of different market conditions in the worldwide light commercial vehicle sector. In the meantime, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is represented in over 100 markets in the world. As a result the company is able to compensate for losses in single regions internationally. Worldwide the brand delivered circa one per cent more than in the same period last year (previous year: 283,500), i.e. 285,900 light commercial vehicles from the model series Amarok, Caddy, T5 and Crafter.

The Caddy and Crafter are currently enjoying a good to excellent delivery and order situation. Amarok is suffering declines due to the sluggish markets in South America and Brazil.

Scholz stressed that he is satisfied with the figures so far for this year. However he issues a warning about macro-economic risks which are appearing on the horizon and could rapidly lead to economic stagnation as a result of worldwide political tensions. The risk of another recession also continues to exist in the Euro zone, especially inFranceandItaly. Therefore Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles complies with the Volkswagen project "Future Tracks" to implement cost management programmes systematically.

At the same time, it is becoming increasingly obvious how important it is to focus on customer needs systematically. Excellent products are no longer enough to maintain a cutting edge against the competition. Over the past few years, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has commenced a transformation process from a manufacturer to a mobility service provider.

This is reflected in this year's IAA trade fair presentation under the slogan Work. Life. Solutions, which offers a unique diversity of mobility solutions for goods and passenger transportation to meet the demands of different customers and trades.

‘We will exhibit the right solution for every professional and private change in life situation. We know what customers want and we supply what they need,’ explained Scholz. The exhibition stand in Hall 12 is clearly laid out according to the models Amarok, Caddy, T5 and Crafter and shows each of the applications by customer group such as emergency vehicles, leisure time, passenger transportation, service and maintenance, courier and logistics services, trade and construction.

The brand's medium-term target, as Dr. Scholz mentioned, is to internationalise production plants and products. The brand has started a high investment programme, both to expand the existing plants in Hannover andPoznańas well as build a new plant for the Crafter in Września, Poland. The foundation stone ceremony will shortly take place at the new site inPoland, which is scheduled to start production at the end of 2016. The successor of the Crafter will be the brand's first genuine world vehicle and will be marketable in a wide variety of different market regions.

In the meantime, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is well positioned internationally within the sales organisation. But there is still enormous potential in Asia, China, Russia and the USAand this is worth while developing. The interlinking of activities with the commercial vehicle segment of Volkswagen will help. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is well positioned to create a successful future and win in international competition.