Electric vehicles at the heart of strong first quarter for Volkswagen

Volkswagen Group’s strong performance in the first quarter of the year has been boosted by sales of its electric models which more than doubled in the first three months.

In the first three months, deliveries of electrified models more than doubled over the prior year to 133,300 vehicles. In addition, 59,900 customers opted for a battery electric vehicle, up 78% on last year. Meanwhile, 73,400 chose a model with plug-in hybrid drive, up 178%.

Sales revenue for the Group increased by 13.3% to a high level of EUR 62.4 billion, with operating profits rising to EUR 4.8 (0.9) billion, despite the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

In the first quarter, deliveries from the Volkswagen Group increased significantly by 21.2% to 2.4 million vehicles over the same period last year, which was already impacted by the pandemic.

Global market share of passenger cars also grew by 0.2 percentage points to 12.4% in the same period.

Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, said: “We started the year with great momentum and are on a strong operational course. This is clearly reflected in our positive quarterly figures. At the same time, we remain fully committed to our transformation into a climate-neutral and software-driven mobility group. Our successful e-offensive continues to gain momentum and we have significantly expanded it with attractive new models. We are also making good progress with the key topic of digitalisation and have reached important milestones. There is still much more we can achieve in the remainder of the year.”

Arno Antlitz, CFO of the Volkswagen Group, added: “The Volkswagen Group delivered a strong performance in the first quarter. The operating return on sales stood at 7.7%. The adjusted net cash flow of EUR 5.5 billion impressively proves the robustness of our company even in challenging conditions. We managed the effects of Covid-19 and the semiconductor shortages responsibly, continued to invest in the electrification and digitalisation of our vehicles, and simultaneously worked on our cost base. The shortage of semiconductors throughout the industry is expected to have a more significant impact in the second quarter than before.

“Nevertheless, we are confident regarding business development in the full year and have therefore raised our outlook.”

Based on the positive business performance in the first quarter of 2021, the Volkswagen Group is raising its forecast for operating profit, net cash flow and net liquidity.

In a statement, the Group said: “…assuming successful containment of the Covid-19 pandemic – deliveries to customers in 2021 will be significantly up on the previous year amid continued challenging market conditions. Challenges will arise particularly from the economic situation, the increasing intensity of competition, volatile commodity and foreign exchange markets, securing supply chains and more stringent emissions-related requirements. Sales revenue of the Volkswagen Group in 2021 are expected to be significantly higher than the prior-year figure. In terms of the operating profit, the Group anticipates an operating return on sales of between 5.5 and 7.0% in 2021.”

Want the latest Electric vehicle news in your inbox? Sign up to the free EV Powered email newsletter...