Volkswagen expects 'substantial growth' in China this year

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Beijing, Jan. 20 (BNA): German carmaker Volkswagen expects "substantial growth" in China this year, the firm's head of operations in the country Stephan Woellenstein said Wednesday.

Woellenstein also expects VW's market share to increase, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.

"It is probably a fair expectation [that VW will] grow faster than the general market," Woellenstein said in Beijing.

Nearly one in five new cars sold in China today comes from the Volkswagen Group.

The vice president of Volkswagen in China, Rainer Seidl, said the country's automobile market - the world's largest - is expected to grow at a rate similar to that of its economy, which is currently projected for growth of more than eight per cent.

Thanks to strict measures, China has largely brought the novel coronavirus under control since the summer and is now only recording limited local outbreaks. Life and economic activity have returned to normal.

The car market also picked up again significantly towards the end of last year.

Woellenstein said he firmly believes not only that China has beaten Covid-19, but also that it has overcome the short economic downturn that started with the 2018 trade conflict with the US.