BERLIN, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Worldwide group sales of Volkswagen fall by 37.6 percent to about 623,000 vehicles in March year-on-year, the German carmaker announced on Friday.
Sales in Western Europe were particularly hit and plummeted by 44.6 percent, followed by North America and China with a minus of 42 and 35.5 percent respectively, according to Volkswagen.
During the entire first quarter (Q1) of 2020, Volkswagen group sold a total of 2 million cars worldwide, a decrease of 23 percent year-on-year.
With around 1.2 million sold passenger and commercial vehicles, Volkswagen brand was the biggest contributor to group sales in Q1, according to Germany's largest carmaker. Volkswagen subsidiary and luxury carmaker Audi was the second biggest contributor with more than 350,000 cars sold.
In contrast to the Volkswagen and Audi brands, which both recorded a year-on-year decrease in sales in Q1 by more than 20 percent, Volkswagen's sports car manufacturer Porsche only recorded a decline of 4.6 percent to 55,700 cars over the same period.
On Thursday, Volkswagen cancelled its forecast for 2020 after operating profit in Q1 collapsed by 80 percent to only 0.9 billion euros (0.98 billion U.S. dollars). The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on customer demand, supply chains and production "cannot currently be accurately forecast," according to Volkswagen.
After several weeks of standstill of production lines due to COVID-19, German carmakers are preparing to restart production step by step. Both Daimler and Volkswagen have announced the resumption of work at individual plants on Monday.
"We are resuming production and logistics with a staged approach in a well-organized way," said Andreas Tostmann, board member of the Volkswagen brand responsible for production and logistics, stressing "the health of our employees has the highest priority." Enditem