Porsche Holding Salzburg demonstrates its resilience to crises in the 2022 automotive year and remains on course amid volatile conditions
- New car sales down only slightly year-on-year (-3.3 per cent) at 652,800 units despite prolonged production bottlenecks and long delivery times
- Used car sales also lower (-12.4 per cent) at 186,800 units due to a shortage of supply
- Metropolitan strategy focusing on premium and luxury brands continued; number of dealerships increased to 530 (+6 dealerships) despite optimisation of network
- Headcount in 29 countries grows to 35,100 (+3.4 per cent)
- Order backlog of Volkswagen Group brands remains at a record level; electric vehicles gaining increasing traction among customers
- Slowdown in economic activity worldwide; consumer restraint increasingly noticeable in the second half of 2022 due to the war in Ukraine, energy shortage and inflationOutlook for the 2023 automotive year: record order backlog will provide a solid foundation despite decline in incoming orders; volume of electric vehicles will continue to grow based on the high order backlog; overall economic situation will be challenging owing to multiple uncertainties; 2023 will once again be anything but a normal year; market of 250,000 new passenger car registrations in Austria realistic
Salzburg/Vienna, 16 December 2022 - Porsche Holding Salzburg achieved an extraordinary result in the 2022 automotive year in a challenging global environment, also for the third crisis year in succession. The company, which has wholesale and retail operations in a total of 29 countries and also offers financial and IT services, demonstrated the robustness and professionalism of its business model under the most difficult of conditions.
"Despite the precarious economic situation, we achieved a solid result in all of our business segments and nearly all countries and are making good progress along our path to transformation," summed up Dr Hans Peter Schützinger, CEO of the PHS Management Board, at the annual press conference of Porsche Holding Salzburg in Vienna.
Special features and challenges of the 2022 automotive year
Covid, crises and wars have kept society and the economy constantly on edge since 2019. Ever since, the automotive industry has struggled daily with issues such as shortages of semiconductors and other parts, volatility in production and supply chains, and shrinking sales volumes.
- The automotive markets continued in reverse gear in 2022 as a consequence of the production and supply bottlenecks.
- The shortage of supply pushed up order backlogs to record levels, keeping prices of new and used cars high and delivery times long.
- Despite rising inflation and loss of purchasing power, premium and luxury brands are in vogue worldwide.
- Noticeable consumer restraint, particularly in the volume and private customer segments, are clear indicators of the anticipated recession.
- Good progress was made along the path to transformation, and strategic issues such as electric mobility, digitalization, and sustainability were advanced.
Key figures of Porsche Holding Salzburg for 2022 (projection)
Strong, innovative brands as well as a robust, broad-based distribution network proved to be an advantage for Porsche Holding Salzburg in the third consecutive crisis year.
- In its wholesale and retail operations, Porsche Holding Salzburg sold a total of 652,800 new cars despite continuing production and delivery bottlenecks, falling marginally short of the previous year's figure (-3.3 per cent).
- Used car sales likewise declined to 186,800 units (-12.4 per cent) owing to a shortage of supply.
- The number of dealerships rose to 530 (+6 dealerships) despite optimization of the network;
- metropolitan strategy focusing on premium and luxury brands was continued.
- The number of employees grew to 35,100 worldwide (+3.4 per cent) on the back of the new acquisitions in retail.
"We more than offset the declining unit sales in the regions by focusing squarely on higher-margin vehicle brands and models for new and used vehicles, as well as by keeping a close eye on costs. Our retail organization and partners also benefited significantly from this in 2022 and generated strong earnings in spite of limited supply," summed up Dr Hans Peter Schützinger.
Austrian passenger vehicle market 1-11/2022
This year, the Austrian passenger car market saw new registrations plummet for the third time in a row as a consequence of prolonged production and supply bottlenecks. Amounting to 197,448 new registrations between January and November 2022, this is actually a drop of 11.1 per cent on the already low result for the prior-year period.
"In the end-of-year reporting, we probably won't be able to reach the projected 220,000 mark. That would constitute the lowest level of new registrations since 1984," said Dr Hans Peter Schützinger, adding: "This result in no way reflects our true market potential. If the supply situation had been better, as originally expected, a market of around 250,000 vehicles would definitely have been possible given the high order backlog."
While the all-electric vehicle segment increased its market share to 15.3 per cent in the first eleven months of 2022 (+1.8 percentage points), growth in absolute terms slowed sharply compared with previous years to 30,194 new registrations on account of limited availability.
The Volkswagen Group brands are on track to achieve a record market share of 37.4 per cent; for the market as a whole, they recorded a deficit of 11.1 per cent on the prior-year period at 73,881 new vehicle registrations.
"We are expecting a total of around 80,000 new passenger car registrations for the Volkswagen Group brands this year, which means that depending on how the individual brands finish the year we can once again close the year with a market share of over 37 per cent," said Dr Hans Peter Schützinger.
In the domestic brand ranking, Volkswagen and ŠKODA again take the top two places; Audi as a premium brand continues to hold fourth place, well ahead of other volume brands, and SEAT (excluding CUPRA) follows in a respectable seventh place. In the model hit parade, the top 10 again includes the ŠKODA Octavia (1st), VW Golf (4th), ŠKODA Fabia (6th), VW Bus (7th), VW Polo (8th) and VW Tiguan (9th).
The excellent positioning of the Volkswagen Group brands is also evident in the electric segment. Currently, with 10,389 new registrations, at least one in three new all-electric vehicles registered (34.4 per cent market share) bears a Group brand logo. In the brand ranking, Volkswagen is in second place with 4,251 vehicles, followed by CUPRA (2,218 vehicles), ŠKODA (1,874 vehicles) and Audi (1,823 vehicles) in fourth to sixth place.
The breadth and strength of the Volkswagen Group brands' electric offerings is underscored by a look at the e-model ranking, in which the VW ID.4, CUPRA Born, ŠKODA ENYAQ iV and VW ID.3 occupy places two to five, with the Audi Q4 e-tron following in sixth place.
Performance of different drive types (1-11/2022)
The transformation to electric vehicles has gained immense momentum since 2019, accelerating the shift away from the traditional combustion engine to alternative drives (BEV and hybrid).
The share of the drive mix accounted for by alternative drives rose to 40.4 per cent (+3.2 percentage points) during this automotive year, with all-electric vehicles accounting for 15.3 per cent (+1.8 percentage points). Diesel engines continued to decline in popularity, making up 22.5 per cent (-1.7 percentage points), as did gasoline engines, which accounted for 37.1 per cent (-1.5 percentage points).
In this context, it is also worth taking a look at the development of the purely domestic electric market over the last four years:
- The number of new registrations of all-electric vehicles almost quadrupled (from 8,551 in 1-11/2019 to 30,194 in 1-11/2022).
- Of the Volkswagen Group brands, 1,078 electric vehicles were newly registered in 2019, compared with 10,389 vehicles from January to November 2022 - an increase of more than nine and a half times.
- The number of brands with electric vehicles in their portfolio has more than doubled (from 15 to 32 brands).
- The number of all-electric models has more than tripled (from 23 to 75 BEV models).
Dealer network: metropolitan strategy continued
Despite the general economic conditions, Porsche Holding Salzburg was able to continue its metropolitan strategy focusing on premium and luxury brands and expand its dealer network for long-term growth. The biggest new addition was Auto-Holding Dresden GmbH in the middle of the year, which sells more than 5,000 new cars annually at five dealerships employing over 800 people. The sales network of the Stuttgart-based sports car brand was also expanded in a targeted manner through the addition of new Porsche dealerships in Upper Lake Zurich/Switzerland, Leipzig/Germany and Tokyo/Japan (one Porsche Studio and one Porsche Centre in each case). Since mid-2022, the Lamborghini brand has also been growing its retail network in China with a dealership in Suzhou.
Porsche Bank Group: leading financial service provider
The Porsche Bank Group, which is active in the financing, insurance and maintenance contract business with 1,500 employees in 15 countries, further expanded its leading position as a mobility financial services provider this year. A new all-time high was achieved with some 2 million contracts in the portfolio (+2 per cent growth), and total assets of the entire Porsche Bank Group now stand at 7 billion euros. Around 45 per cent of all Volkswagen Group vehicles delivered by Porsche Holding Salzburg are financed by the Porsche Bank Group.
Porsche Bank has been successfully cooperating with WienMobil of Wiener Linien since September 2022 by providing its all-electric sharetoo service, which connects public transport with individual mobility in a targeted manner at 50 mobility hubs. A total of 100 electric vehicles will thus progressively hit Vienna's roads. In parallel, existing mobility solutions such as sharetoo, Rent a Car and Autoabo will be brought together on a single platform under sharetoo, allowing customers to choose the transport option that suits them best - from ten minutes to ten years.
Porsche Informatik: customised applications
As a subsidiary of Porsche Holding Salzburg, Porsche Informatik currently operates dealerships in four countries (Austria, France, Slovenia and Romania). With more than 900 software developers and IT specialists, it performs around one million development hours and offers a total of 180 software solutions tailor-made for the automotive segment in 32 countries. Thirty per cent of the developments are provided specifically for the Volkswagen Group.
In 2022, the roll-out of the new sales support programme VU3 was completed in the first PHS countries, and the dealer management system CROSS 3, which will serve as a daily work tool for 50,000 users in 20 countries, was completed. To meet the growing demand for IT specialists, Porsche Informatik runs numerous training initiatives such as the Work & Study Programme in Vienna, Salzburg and Hagenberg as well as an International IT Talents Programme in conjunction with the Styria and Hagenberg campuses of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.
MOON POWER GmbH: architect of smart energy solutions
The MOON POWER brand continued its growth trajectory in 2022 and currently does business in a total of 18 markets - also with companies in Austria and the focus market of Germany. Its 60 employees deliver sustainable, smart, data-driven energy solutions from a single source. Turnover in 2022 amounted to approximately 30 million euros.
This autumn, MOON POWER won three prestigious major contracts - first and foremost OMV's international tender for the installation of over 400 DC fast charging stations in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Other projects included the installation and maintenance of 1,250 AC charging stations for Volksbank in Austria and the installation of PV systems for the MAHAG & Berolina Group in Germany.
Outlook for the 2023 automotive year:
Porsche Holding Salzburg expects market conditions worldwide to remain volatile and challenging in 2023. The global impact of the war in Ukraine continues to create substantial economic jitters.
The economy is being steadily weakened by energy shortages and inflation. This deterioration is compounded by consumer restraint - especially among private customers - due to the precarious economic situation and the rising cost of daily living.
"In the second half of this financial year, we started seeing latent buyer reluctance on the part of private individuals as well as entrepreneurs, which will continue in 2023. Purchasing a new or even a used car - if this can be postponed - is not a top priority under the present circumstances, though Austrians have not lost their general desire to buy a car," Dr Hans Peter Schützinger said.
The success of the coming automotive year and also subsequent years will depend on the ability to eliminate the economic uncertainty, which in the case of private customers in particular is expressed through buying restraint.
250,000 new passenger car registrations in Austria realistic
Due to the continuing structural shortage of semiconductors and other parts, among other things, production and supply bottlenecks will again weigh on the coming automotive year. "For the time being, we will be kept busy in 2023 reducing the existing, historically high order backlog as quickly as possible in the interest of our customers and driving forward the transition towards lower-emission or emission-free drives, which is important for the economy and the environment," said Dr Hans Peter Schützinger, adding, "Under the prevailing conditions, we consider a market of around 250,000 new registrations for Austria to be fairly realistic, provided, of course, that the supply situation improves." Reducing the existing order backlogs will also shorten delivery times for new customer orders.
Realistically, the Austrian passenger car market cannot be expected to return to pre-coronavirus levels in terms of unit sales before the middle of the decade. "For us, however, a sustained recovery in the market is more important than chasing a predefined or artificially fixed market. If Covid and the crisis years have taught us anything, then it is to act sustainably and drive by sight," said Dr Hans Peter Schützinger.
Porsche Holding Salzburg is confident that it can stay on course and keep up the pace on the road to e-mobility amid a still challenging environment. The market for electric vehicles will see further growth in Austria, but of course only if the support measures that every new technology needs for market penetration remain in place.
"The range of electric vehicle models has grown rapidly over the last three years, and our brands are planning attractive new releases again for 2023. We expect sales of e-vehicles to rise again as the order backlog is reduced. The more e-vehicles seen on the roads and the more the charging infrastructure is expanded in parallel, the faster e-mobility will catch on," summed up Dr Hans Peter Schützinger.
PHS key figures for 2022
New cars 652,800 (-3.3 per cent)
Used cars 186,800 (-12.4 per cent)
Dealerships 530 (+6) in 29 countries
Employees 35,100 (+3.4 per cent)