China sales show recovery after coronavirus crisis, says Volkswagen

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German automaker Volkswagen expects vehicle sales in China, the world’s largest car market, to quadruple in March, it stated, pointing to a recovery after the coronavirus crisis.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the worst effects of the crisis will be behind us in two to three months,” stated Stephan Woellenstein, head of Volkswagen’s China business.

Volkswagen said the demand was still limited and it was prepared to increase capacity at its plants in the country, 22 of which had restarted production. Two vehicle plants located in Changsha and Urumqi are still closed, the automaker said.

Woellenstein said he expected vehicle sales of about 1 million in March, increasing from 250,000 in February.

“There are more and more signs that business is recovering. By the middle of the year, we could be back to 2019’s planning. Hope is returning on the Chinese market,” Woellenstein added.

In 2020, Volkswagen expects a drop of 3-15% in the Chinese market but confirmed plans to invest over 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) for this year in China, with about 40% of that sum set aside for electric driving.

“We assume that the recovery will continue and that we will be operating in a normal market environment again in 2021,” Woellenstein stated.

Volkswagen prepares to sell 1.5 million electric cars in China annually from 2025.

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