FRANKFURT — Volkswagen Group on Friday said global sales of its vehicles dropped by 23 percent on the year to 2 million in the first quarter.
In March alone, sales were down 38 percent overall at 623,000 vehicles, reflecting the coronavirus crisis which triggered plant closures and falls in demand as consumers remained at home in lockdown measures across the world.
More specifically, March sales were down 44 percent year-on-year in western Europe, down 23 percent in central and eastern Europe, down 42 percent in North America, and down 35 percent in China, the company said.
Experts believe that declines in April sales could be steeper as the full impact of stay-at-home policies works its way through the system.
VW on Thursday withdrew its outlook for 2020 due to the uncertainty related to the virus outbreak which caused operating profit to drop 81 percent in the first quarter.