Volkswagen brand 2020 sales drop but recovery seen in December

FILE PHOTO: A car stands at the production line for the electric Volkswagen cars, model ID.3 and model ID. 4, in Zwickau, Germany, September 18, 2020. Picture taken September 18. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – German carmaker Volkswagen said on Tuesday that sales of its core brand dropped by 15% to 5.3 million vehicles in 2020 as the outbreak of coronavirus and lockdowns imposed to restrict infections hit car dealerships around the world.

Volkswagen said it had seen sales recovering in December compared to previous months, rising by 19.5% in western Europe and 14.7% in North America. It added that demand for its electric models jumped by 158% on the year, to 212,000 vehicles.

“We are well on the way to achieving our goal of becoming the market leader in battery electric vehicles,” VW brand CEO Ralf Brandstaetter said in a statement.

For the year as a whole, Volkswagen brand sales fell by 23.4% in western Europe and by 17.1% in North America, while the smallest drop was in China, at 9.9%.

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