Volkswagen Sales Decline in China

September 17, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. market / ˈmɑr kɪt / (n.) – an area where products or services can be sold and bought
Example: Japan is a major market for English language learning.

2. forecast / ˈfɔrˌkæst / (n.) – a guess or estimate of something that will happen in the future
Example: Unfortunately, the company didn’t meet its sales forecast this year.

3. par /pɑr/ (n.) – the state of being equal
Example: The price of oil today is at par with its price last week.

4. analyst / ˈæn l ɪst / (n.) – a person who studies something
Example: Our company hired a business analyst to evaluate our sales.

5. sedan / sɪˈdæn / (n.) – a type of car that has four doors
Example: A sedan can comfortably seat four people.


Read the text below.
Volkswagen recently experienced lower sales in its biggest market—China.

From January to June 2015, Volkswagen’s delivery of cars in the country was about 4% less than last year’s delivery in the same period, with only around 1.7 million cars delivered. The last time that Volkswagen’s sales decreased in China was in 2005.

Volkswagen has already lowered its group sales forecast in China because of the country’s weaker market. With this, the company expects that its current sales will be at par with last year’s sales of 10.1 million vehicles.

Auto sales in China have significantly decreased this year because of its slower economic growth. The demand for Volkswagen cars also declined because many cities imposed a limit on the number of new cars purchased yearly. Other than this, the company’s sales were also affected by the country’s stricter emission standards and reduced investment pace.

Robin Zhu, an analyst from an asset management company, said that China’s weaker market is not the only reason behind Volkswagen’s lower sales in the country. According to Zhu, Volkswagen was not able to adjust when the preference of the Chinese shifted from sedans to SUVs. 

Aside from China, Volkswagen’s sales are also not doing very well in other countries. In Russia, for example, the company’s sales fell by almost 41%. Volkswagen’s sales also declined by 22.5% in South America. In Brazil alone, the company experienced a 30-percent decrease in the demand for Volkswagen vehicles. In Western Europe and North America, however, Volkswagen enjoyed an increase in its sales.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think Volkswagen can do to improve its sales?
·         What can be the other reasons why Volkswagen is experiencing decrease in sales?

Discussion B

·         Would you like to own a luxury car someday? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think some people spend money on luxury items? 

September 17, 2015