Volkswagen sold 9.3 million cars in pandemic year, down 15%

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FILE – In this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 file photo, a worker completes an electric car ID.3 body at the assembly line, during a press tour at the plant of the German manufacturer Volkswagen AG, VW, in Zwickau, Germany. Automaker Volkswagen tripled sales of battery-only cars last year as its new electric compact ID.3 came on the market ahead of tough new limits on auto emissions. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen said its global sales fell 15.2% during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but showed significant recovery toward the end of the year. The company more than tripled its sales of battery-only vehicles.

Global sales for all of Volkswagen’s brands amounted to 9.3 million vehicles. The fourth quarter showed a smaller decline of 5.7% and within that quarter the month of December was still further improved, showing a shortfall of only 3.2% from the same period the year before.

Volkswagen said Wednesday that sales fell the most in Western Europe, by 21.6%, while China, the company’s largest single market, was down 9.1%

Sales of battery-only cars jumped 214% to 231,600 from 73,700 across all the company’s brands. The company’s electric sales leaders included the Volkswagen ID.3 compact with 56,500, the Audi e-tron SUV with 47,300, and the high-end Porsche Taycan with 20,000.

Volkswagen said that its sales fell by less than the overall market, meaning it had slightly expanded its market share. “The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 an extremely challenging year,” said group sales chief Christian Dahlheim. “The Volkswagen Group performed well in this environment and strengthened its market position.”

Volkswagen Group’s brands include Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche as sell as truck makers MAN and Scania.

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