By Victoria Waldersee

BERLIN (Reuters) – The Volkswagen Group recorded its lowest gross sales in additional than a decade in 2022 as COVID-19 shutdowns in China and conflict in Ukraine upended provide chains, and a restoration within the fourth quarter is more likely to face new challenges this 12 months.

The German group, whose manufacturers vary from mainstream VWs and Skodas to premium Audis and Bentleys, stated on Thursday it delivered 8.3 million automobiles to clients final 12 months.

This means that it’s going to stay in second place on this planet for the third consecutive 12 months behind the Japanese group Toyota, which in November had already produced greater than 9.5 million automobiles.

Group gross sales rose 14.3% within the fourth quarter, however the outlook for 2023 stays clouded by weak economies and provide chain shortages, stated Hildegard Wortmann, a member of the expanded government gross sales committee.

Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley fared higher in 2022 than Volkswagen Passenger Vehicles and Skoda, with deliveries down round 4% for premium manufacturers and 9% for mainstream automobiles.

The group’s deliveries fell by 7% in comparison with 2021.

Premium automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz additionally reported decrease gross sales declines earlier this week than some mass-market rivals, with declines of 4.8% and 1% respectively.

Gross sales of BMW and Mercedes-Benz additionally rose within the fourth quarter as provide chains improved and China eased its COVID-19 insurance policies, though some corporations warned that rising circumstances within the nation among the many workers may nonetheless hamper manufacturing.

Volkswagen Group deliveries rose 12% within the second half of the 12 months, however the annual determine was dragged down by a fall of greater than a fifth within the first half.

Nonetheless, it maintained its place as Europe’s main maker of battery electrical automobiles and noticed a 26% enhance in all-electric car gross sales globally, spurred by an nearly two-thirds enhance in China.

The group is concentrating on all-electric gross sales in 2023 at 11% of the overall, a stepping stone in the direction of its 2030 purpose of reaching half of all all-electric gross sales.

(Reporting by Victoria WalderseeEditing by Rachel Extra and Mark Potter)

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