Volkswagen quickly countered a report from a German newspaper Handelsblatt, which claimed the company was cutting its annual sales target by 250,000 vehicles on weak economic conditions in Western Europe. VW claimed the numbers cited by the paper 'have no basis.' But VW's modest cut in its 2012 sales projections pale in comparison to the woes faced by General Motors' Open division and Ford's European division, which is projected to lose $1 billion for 2012.
Volkswagen said year-to-date 2012 performance is still ahead of 2011, with group deliveries rising 9.1 percent to 5.19 million units, but acknowledged the economic situation in Western Europe is 'tense."
Volkswagen recently unveiled its seventh-generation 2014 Golf, historically the company's best-selling model worldwide.
Despite challenging conditions in its home market, VW is expanding aggressively globally. Its Chattanooga, Tenn. plant is running full steam on strong demand for the new Passat midsize sedan, and the Audi division just announced construction starting on a plant in Mexico to build Q5 sport-utility vehicles for the U.S. and other markets.
Volkswagen has previously announced its ambitions to sell 800,000 vehicles a year in the U.S. market, and 10 million vehicles worldwide by 2018.