2018: Another successful year for Porsche Holding Salzburg
- New vehicle markets: stable performance
- Wholesale at record level on par with 2017 despite switch-over to WLTP
- Solid performance in retail
- Volkswagen Group brands increase market share in Austria
- Best year for SEAT, ŠKODA, Porsche, Exclusive Cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Porsche Bank
- Major strategic push in electric vehicles from 2020 on
Vienna, 14 December 2018 - 2018 was another very successful year for Porsche Holding Salzburg, according to Hans Peter Schützinger, CEO of the PHS Management Board. The preliminary sales volume figures for the 2018 financial year were presented at today's annual press conference, held in Vienna.
In the 27 countries in which PHS has wholesale and retail operations, passenger vehicle markets remained at a high level, and results were therefore strong in all regions.
In Austria, Group brand market share as of the end of November increased by 0.3 percentage points to 34.3%, despite the switch-over to the WLTP test procedure (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure). In the CEE region as a whole, the anticipated figure for new vehicle deliveries in 2018 is 204,100, roughly on par with last year. Moreover, PHS increased its market presence in South America and the ASEAN region.
Record deliveries in wholesale
In wholesale, the anticipated figure for new vehicle deliveries in 2018 is 370,700, thus hitting the same record level as the previous year.
Stable performance in retail
The numbers in retail are similarly strong. With around 364,700 deliveries to customers, PHS will match last year's strong performance, after adjustment of last year's figures to reflect the sale of PGA Group in mid-2017. Thus, the company expects to achieve a sales volume of around 735,400 vehicles in new vehicle business (wholesale and retail) in the period to year's end. In other words, after adjustment for the PGA Group figures*, PHS will be slightly above the excellent level achieved last year.
"We are very satisfied with our performance in all our markets this year", commented Hans Peter Schützinger, CEO of the PHS Management Board. "Thanks to improved market performance and new acquisitions, this year we managed to regain more than half of the new vehicle volume which we lost following the sale of PGA Group."
Increase in sales of used vehicles
In used vehicle business, sales increased by around 5% to around 213,000 vehicles in the period to year's end (also after adjustment of PGA figures* from 2017).
Increase in employee headcount and number of retail dealerships
PHS's staff headcount increased from 29,300 to 31,100 this year; the number of dealership locations rose from 427 to 451.
*) PHS sold the multi-brand dealer group PGA Motors, which has operations in France, the Netherlands and Poland, in July 2017. PGA Motors, with an employee headcount of 11,200 and 261 dealership locations, generated annual turnover of 130,000 new and 140,000 used vehicles.
Challenging year in Austria (January - November 2018)
In the passenger vehicle market, November saw 23,604 new vehicle registrations in Austria - a 20.1% decrease relative to November 2017. One of the contributing factors is that due to the switch-over to the new WLTP test procedure, the range of available vehicles remains limited. In cumulative terms, as of the end of November, the total market in Austria stood at 321,875 new vehicle registrations, which is 1.8% lower than for the comparable period last year (though in the period to September, it was in fact up 7.6% relative to the comparable period in 2017). Despite this, 2018 was the third strongest year in the automotive market in the history of PHS (following 2011 and 2017). "Because of the switch-over to the new WLTP test procedure, there was a period when not all models in our brand range were available", pointed out Hans Peter Schützinger. "As a result, deliveries dipped over the last four months in both wholesale and retail." Nonetheless, he drew attention to the outstanding performance of the Group brand's dealerships, which once again made a major contribution to the success of their brands.
Volkswagen Group brands forging ahead
2018: record performances by SEAT, ŠKODA, Porsche, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Exclusive Cars
With a market share of 34.3%, Volkswagen Group brands successfully increased their market performance. As of the end of November, the company achieved an increase of 0.3 percentage points compared to the previous year.
Volkswagen, with 53,904 new registrations and a market share of 16.7% (+ 0.1 percentage points) continues to be unsurpassed market leader in Austria, just as it has been without interruption since 1957!
ŠKODA, with a market share of 7.5%, is in second position among the brands, and will end the year with a new record for registrations and market share.
SEAT also had an extremely successful year. As of the end of November, its market share amounted to 5.7%. SEAT thus anticipates new records for the year as well.
This year the Audi brand lost 1 percentage point in market share, falling to 3.9%. This was due to the switch-over to the new WLTP test procedure (with each passing week the number of homologated models is rising). Moreover, the unusually challenging scenario involving new and expiring models as part of our ongoing strategic push dragged down the delivery figures.
In sports cars and luxury brands, the picture is very encouraging. For the sports car brand Porsche, the number of new registrations as of the end of November was 1,326, making 2018 the most successful year in its 70-year history in Austria. In Exclusive Cars (Bentley and Lamborghini) the figure as of the end of November stood at 349 deliveries, which is an increase relative to last year and also the best year in the brands' history in Austria.
In Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, in the market for light commercial vehicles up to 5 tonnes (not including buses), the new registrations figure as of the end of November was 8,519 (+4.8%), making 2018 a record-breaking year.
In the Ducati motorcycles brand, delivery volume as of the end of November reached 692 motorcycles, which is on par with the high level achieved last year.
SUV remains the most rapidly growing vehicle segment
This year 36.4% of all buyers of new vehicles chose an SUV. Of that figure, 28.4% were Volkswagen Group models.
The best-selling SUV is the Volkswagen Tiguan, of which 7,459 units have been registered in Austria so far this year.
New Volkswagen Group SUV models, such as the Volkswagen T-ROC, the SEAT Arona and Ateca, the ŠKODA Kodiaq and Karoq and the Audi Q5 have been well received and hold some of the top spots in their respective segments.
Diesel: falling market share
Diesel vehicles' share of the overall passenger vehicle market continues to fall: as of the end of November, it stood at 41%. The reasons behind this trend are the ongoing debate over the possibility of bans and future constraints faced by owners of older diesel models. Although concrete planning of such measures has not yet begun in Austria, the debate has been conducted without appropriate levels of objectivity. This has caused uncertainty among many customers of all brands, who are switching to other types of drive when buying a new vehicle.
For Volkswagen Group brands, this is mainly occurring among customers in the small and compact car segment and among private individuals with low annual mileages. In higher vehicle classes and among fleet customers with high annual mileage, diesel remains popular in most cases, not least because it is economical.
In Volkswagen Passenger Cars, the decrease in diesel is in line with the overall market trend, though at an altogether higher level: in 2018, half of new vehicle customers chose a Volkswagen diesel model (diesel for 1-11 2018: 50.6%).
Modern diesel engines (Euro 6d-TEMP) are among the cleanest drive technologies, and have significant fuel consumption and CO2 advantages over comparable petrol engines. Volkswagen Group models lead the way here, as demonstrated by numerous independent emissions tests.
Successful scrapping programme 2017/2018
In the period September 2017 to January 2018, customers were able to take advantage of a heavily promoted trade-in programme for Volkswagen Group brands. Customers were able to trade in their older diesel model (up to Euro 4) when simultaneously buying a new Volkswagen Group car, so that the old diesel vehicle could be scrapped. In total, 10,000 used diesel vehicles were taken out of circulation by Volkswagen Group brand dealers, thereby making a valuable contribution to the environment.
Alternative types of drive
Pure electric vehicles (1.9% market share) and hybrid vehicles (2.8% market share) gained ground compared to 2017; natural gas vehicles remain at a very low level (market share: 0.2%).
Among electric models, the No. 1 is the e-Golf: the figure for new registrations in the period to the end of November is 1,765.
Volkswagen Group's strategic push in e-mobility
The recently launched Audi e-tron, and the Porsche Taycan launching in a year's time, are spearheading the Volkswagen Group's e-mobility push. As part of that strategic initiative, Volkswagen's ID Family and e-models from other Group brands will be launched from 2020 on. Based on the new MEB modular platform, the new electric models from the Volkswagen Group will help e-mobility achieve a major breakthrough. They will achieve this at prices appropriate to market conditions, with ranges of up to 550 km (WLTP test procedure). The Volkswagen Group has announced that in the period to 2025, it will launch a total of 80 electrified models, of which 50 will be pure electric models. By 2030, all vehicle classes and segments will include at least one electrified model.
Charging infrastructure: MOON
PHS's Moon brand offers custom charging solutions for private individuals and commercial users, as part of the charging infrastructure required. The range includes wall boxes, suitable chargers, photovoltaic systems and a fast-charge station with integrated battery storage unit.
Challenges in 2018
WLTP test procedure: As of 1 September 2018, all newly registered passenger vehicle models had to be certified in accordance with the WLTP test procedure. Over the last four months of the year, various specific models could not be delivered, since approval had not yet been obtained, which meant that between September and the end of November 2018, the passenger vehicle market as a whole drastically fell by 23.5%. In the case of most Volkswagen Group brands, delivery volumes are now recovering - for example Volkswagen, SEAT and ŠKODA, all of which have achieved an increase in market share relative to November 2017. The situation has started to ease for other Group brands as well, and is expected to normalise during Q1 2019.
Technical measures: 92.2% of the customer vehicles in Austria affected by the recall (EA 189) have now undergone retrofit, which is a very high number by comparison with other countries.
Customers who have not yet had the retrofit are offered a reminder every time they visit a branded repair shop and encouraged to do so. The programme remains gratis for customers.
Porsche Holding acquisitions and investments in retail
This year PHS acquired three well-known dealer groups in Italy, thereby more than doubling its potential future sales volume to around 28,000 new vehicles.
Eurocar Italia, a subsidiary of PHS, runs retail operations in Italy; currently it operates 23 dealership locations employing around 1,000 people.
**) Bonaldi Group in Bergamo, Vicentini S.p.A. in Verona and Dorigoni S.p.A. (takeover of operations will take effect on 1 January 2019) in Trent and Rovereto .
In 2018 PHS opened six new dealerships in China, managed by PHS subsidiary Porsche Automotive Investment China, which primarily represents the Group's premium brands. Its dealership network currently consists of 33 locations, employing 2,460 people, with a sales volume of around 34,200 new cars this year.
Porsche Inter Auto (PIA) continues to make further investments in its retail dealerships in Austria.
The extensive remodelling at Porsche Wien Liesing continues according to plan and at a rapid pace. This year saw the opening of the Audi Centre and the new ŠKODA showroom, the largest of its type in Austria. The next construction phase will consist of setting up the new Porsche Centre, the relocation of the parts warehouse and extensive changes and upgrades to "General Repairs" operations. The project as a whole is slated for completion at the end of 2020.
At the Salzburger Alpenstraße location, the expansion of the dealership was completed, including the opening of the new Porsche Centre (911 m² display area) and completion of the new Audi Terminal.
At the Muthgasse location in Vienna, the completely new multi-storey dealership for Volkswagen, Audi and ŠKODA has opened; the architecture at the location is notably forward-looking and sets standards as a modern urban facility.
The Porsche Dornbirn location has also undergone a complete rebuild, as a modern dealership for the Porsche, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands.
In the period 2015 to 2020, PIA is investing around 195 million euros across Austria to upgrade and modernise its retail dealerships.
Best year in the history of Porsche Bank
Porsche Bank is currently represented in 15 countries. Its portfolio of customer agreements (financing, insurance, service & maintenance) grew to 1.5 million this year (+13%).
In Austria Porsche Bank's portfolio of financing agreements rose by 10% in 2018, to over 208,000.
44% of the Volkswagen Group brand's new vehicles are financed by Porsche Bank. The Porsche Bank Group's total assets currently amount to 6.1 billion euros.
Porsche Bank therefore is
- clear market leader in vehicle financing
- No. 1 in fleet management
- industry champion in 2018.
Market outlook for 2019
In view of the good economic conditions in Austria and large parts of Europe, PHS still anticipates continuing stable market conditions in Austria and a continuing recovery of markets in the CEE region in 2019.
In 2019 PHS anticipates no significant changes in the key factors in Austria that impact purchasing behaviours (stable economy, low interest rates, relatively low unemployment rate); it is therefore proceeding on the assumption that the passenger vehicle market will remain at a high level in the year ahead.
In 2019 Volkswagen Group brands will offer numerous new models to stimulate the market:
- Volkswagen: T-Cross, a facelifted Passat model and the new Golf 8
- Audi: e-tron and upgraded TT
- SEAT: Tarraco and Leon
- ŠKODA: the new Scala, facelifted Superb and a new crossover based on the Vision X concept vehicle
- Porsche: the new 911 and at the end of the year the Taycan, along with other upcoming highlights.
In 2019 PHS is planning to augment its market performance in its various markets and to continue with its growth strategy.
Porsche Holding Salzburg: Porsche Holding GmbH, headquartered in Salzburg, has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG since 1 March 2011; its operations are in wholesale, retail, financial services and IT systems development. The company was founded in 1949, and as of the end of 2017 had operations in 27 countries (Austria, Western Europe, South-Eastern Europe, Colombia, Chile, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei).