Volkswagen cars – a success threatened by the electronic car market? | Politics and Economy DW


Do you remember the diesel scandal? Volkswagen has fake data on the environmental impact through diesel cars? So you are not among the millions of car buyers who are not interested in the scandal: Volkswagen sold 6.28 million cars last year – and that reflects 0.5 percent more than the year before.

In December alone, Volkswagen sold 615,000 cars, up nearly 14 percent. Even criticism of the poor environmental outcome of so-called city SUVs does not matter to Volkswagen buyers: about 30 percent of the cars sold in 2019, according to the company, were four-wheel drive – an increase of about 10 percent compared to 2018.

In North America, where the diesel scandal erupted in 2015, Volkswagen in December sold 7.9 percent less – a total of 45,000 vehicles. This decline was offset by the increase recorded in the most important regional market for Volkswagen, i.e. in China, where Volkswagen achieved sales of 350,000 cars, an increase of 22.2 percent in the last month of the year. In 2019, China guaranteed half of all Volkswagen brands.

Increase the shareholding in the market

“In 2019, we raised our global position in the market with clear profits in the market,” as Volkswagen Chief Marketing Officer Jurgen Stackmann summarized the outcome for the year. In the Handelsblatt newspaper, Stackman rated the global market contribution for the Volkswagen brand at around 8 per cent. But Volkswagen, like other manufacturers, has had to cope with a shrinking market in China. For the current year, the Automobile Federation of China expects a two percent drop in sales. Last year, Chinas auto market shrank by 8.2 percent. In December, the proportion of sales in China declined for the eighteenth month in a row.

Decline in sales in China also affect cars with an alternative engine – and during the year it was minus four percent. Volkswagen increased its sales to electronic cars worldwide, and recorded a 60 percent increase. In total, this total reflected 80,000 vehicles, compared to the total number of 6.28 million sold cars.

More electron cars – less workforce

Experimental way back to Volkswagen in Xinjiang Province

Experimental way back to Volkswagen in Xinjiang Province

But the shift to electronic mobility worries the power of this sector. By switching to auto electronic motors, about 400,000 places of employment are until 2030 in Germany in danger of disappearing, according to the Handelsblatt newspaper. In its information, the newspaper relies on a report from the National Forum on the Future of Mobility. In order to produce electronic engines for cars, there is, in the general estimate, the need for fewer employees, as is the case with regular engines. Critics immediately describe the report as a “terrifying scenario,” and say it depends on the assumption that until 2030, electronic cars with reduced volume and German-produced batteries will be produced, as sector manager Kurt Christian Schell said, which made it clear that this would be an unrealistic scenario that would not happen this way.

But from now on, according to the investigations of the Ifo Institute in Munich, it will decline due to alternative engines Production of cars in Germany This affects the growth movement. The Ifo Institute estimates that during the year 2019 due to the “weakening” of the auto sector, the productivity of the German economy decreased by 0.75%. “Even on the labor market, the infrastructure transformation is having its effects,” says Timo Vollmershoiser, IFO director of growth issues. Since the beginning of 2019, the number of workers in the vehicle industry without the seasonal worker decreased by 1.3 percent more than other sectors.

More sales, but less production!

“What is noteworthy is the rise in demand for German cars in 2019,” said the IFO economist. “The customers are not supplied from the internal production.” In the previous year, it had declined by 8.9 percent, after falling by 9.3 percent in the year before. “The sector has expanded German brands to other locations outside Germany and has worked to supply cars to Germany,” Vollmershoiser pointed out. A possible reason for the production shift is due to a change in equipment at German sites towards the production of electronic cars. “In the period of transformation, there is no display of new cars in Germany, and cars produced in German locations with regular engines achieved in other European countries,” as is the outcome of the Ifo Institute.

Andreas Rustic-Bute / M.A.

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