VW confirms 2020 outlook; expects September delivery growth to continue

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said the automaker’s September orders have been higher than last year and that he expects the positive trend to continue in the fourth quarter.

In a sign that VW is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic that sent car sales plummeting, Diess also reaffirmed the company’s target of positive operating profit for the year.

“The restructuring of the company has not been slowed down by corona, but accelerated,” Diess said in prepared remarks at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.

The pandemic has left the global car sector mired in the worst crisis in decades, just as it faces pressure to invest in new technology as the combustion era draws to a close.

For the first eight months, VW Group’s deliveries are still down 22 percent to 5.6 million vehicles with the sharpest drop of 31 percent in its home market of western Europe.

At the shareholder’s meeting, Diess was trying to convince investors that the electric offensive he has started will help the company compete with Tesla.

The shareholders, by contrast, focused their questions on other matters entirely, notably the criminal trial taking place on the same day.

“What will you do to make sure the stock market can honor the ambitious strategy of the VW Group in the area of electric vehicles and is not frequently scarred by reports about scandals?” Ingo Speich, a fund manager at Deka Investment, asked management in a statement issued before Wednesday’s meeting.

Prosecutors on Wednesday began presenting their cases against former Audi chief Rupert Stadler and other executives for alleged roles in the diesel scandal.

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