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Thursday, January 21, 2021

VW lowers 2019 sales outlook as demand cools

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VW lowers 2019 sales outlook as demand cools
VW lowers 2019 sales outlook as demand cools

Volkswagen has cut its outlook for the year amid cooling global demand for cars, but buoyant demand for its Porsche and Skoda brands helped lift group earnings.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.

Only last week Volkswagen executives were proudly showing off a new version of the firm's iconic Golf hatchback: (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOLKSWAGEN CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO), RALF BRANDSTAETTER, SAYING: "Never the Golf looked so sporty, so cool." Now the German giant admits selling enough of them and its other cars could prove a challenge.

VW on Wednesday (October 30) cut its sales outlook for the year.

It now says they'll be the same as 2018, contrary to earlier forecasts of a rise.

Even so, operating profits for the group are on the up.

They jumped 37% in the third quarter to just over 4.8 billion euros - about 5.3 billion dollars.

The firm was helped by strong demand for higher-margin SUVs.

Group brands Porsche and Skoda also saw a big rise in sales.

But the broader outlook remains tough.

VW says global vehicle demand will contract faster than expected in many markets.

Its more gloomy outlook follows a similar warning from Ford earlier in the week.

The U.S. firm cut its operating profit forecast, citing slower demand in China as among the headwinds.

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