In Western Europe (including Germany), demand for Group models in 2009 was down slightly on the previous year’s level. The downward trend seen in the previous year was halted and demand for new vehicles and up to one year old pre-registered cars (mainly leased vehicles taken back) increased significantly, thanks in particular to the government subsidy programs. This is also reflected in the level of orders received by the Group in Western Europe, which rose by 20.3% compared with the previous year. In Western Europe excluding Germany, the Group recorded a slight drop of 0.4% in the level of orders received.
At December 31, 2009, the Volkswagen Group held orders for 204,289 vehicles within Germany and for 305,803 units from the rest of Western Europe excluding Germany. This means that the level of orders was thus 52.2% higher than in the previous year.
SALES TO THE DEALER ORGANIZATION
In fiscal year 2009, the Volkswagen Group delivered 6,309,743 vehicles to the dealer organization worldwide – including the Chinese joint venture companies – corresponding to a year-on-year rise of 0.6%. The proportion of vehicles sold outside Germany fell to 79.6% (83.8%). Sales in Germany increased by 27.1% to 1,287,903 units thanks to the government scrapping premium.
At 792,846 vehicles sold worldwide, the Golf was once again our biggest seller, accounting for 12.6% of Group sales. In addition to the Golf, the Fox, Polo, Gol, Tiguan, Passat CC, Škoda Fabia, Škoda Superb, Audi A3 Sportback and Audi A6 saloon models also recorded growth. Demand was also very healthy for the Passat and Jetta models marketed in China and for the Santana.
The Volkswagen Group produced 6,054,829 vehicles worldwide in fiscal year 2009, corresponding to a 4.6% year-on-year decline. We aligned production volumes with the continuing critical market situation. The resulting reduction in inventories was a significant factor behind the reduction of cash tied up in working capital. The Chinese joint venture companies increased their production by 42.3%, Volkswagen do Brasil produced 7.2% more units. The proportion of vehicles produced in Germany was 32.0% (33.8%). On average, our plants worldwide produced 25,977 vehicles each day, down 2.4% year-on-year. Production figures do not include the Crafter models produced in the Daimler plants in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, or the Routan, which is manufactured in cooperation with Chrysler in the USA.
As the negative market development led to high inventories in the second half of 2008 in particular, production volumes were adjusted in fiscal year 2009. Worldwide inventories were much lower at the end of 2009 than in the previous year in the Group companies and the dealer organization. The lower inventory levels in the reporting period also took the pressure off many dealers.