Number of vehicles delivered to customers passes eight million mark for the first time
The Volkswagen Group took advantage of the recovery of the global economy and the automotive industry in fiscal year 2011 to further strengthen its market position: for the first time, the number of vehicles delivered to customers pushed through the eight million mark, exceeding the prior-year figure by 14.3%.
GLOBAL ECONOMY CONTINUES TO GROW
While the global economy continued to grow in fiscal year 2011, recovery slowed in the second half of the year, particularly in Western Europe. Growth remained robust in most emerging economies but also lost momentum. The continued expansionary monetary policy in many countries and high commodity and oil prices led to an increase in inflationary trends. Overall, the global economy expanded by 3.0% in the reporting period, down from 4.3% in the previous year.
Percentage change in GDP
Western Europe experienced only modest growth, with GDP increasing by an average of 1.5% (previous year: 1.9%), whereas the Southern European economies deteriorated significantly. As in the previous year, the average unemployment rate in the eurozone remained at approximately 10%; unemployment in Spain was more than twice as high. Average GDP growth in Central and Eastern Europe was 4.5% (previous year: 4.4%).
In spite of the slowdown in the global economy, South Africa recorded higher growth than in the previous year, with GDP of 3.1% (previous year: 2.9%). However, inflation rose sharply over the course of the year.
Germany outperformed all of the other major industrialized countries, with strong export activities fueling growth of 3.0% (previous year: 3.7%). After a dynamic start, growth slowed significantly as the year progressed. The positive development in the labor market and ensuing rise in incomes saw a shift towards growth driven by domestic, as opposed to export, demand.
EXCHANGE RATE MOVEMENTS FROM DECEMBER 2010 TO DECEMBER 2011
Index based on month-end prices: December 31, 2010 = 100
The US economy recorded growth of 1.7% in 2011, as against 3.0% in the previous year. Unemployment remained high in spite of the continued, extremely expansionary monetary policy. The US dollar weakened against the euro through mid-2011 but recovered strongly in the second half of the year. Canada’s GDP rose by 2.3% (previous year: 3.2%) and the Mexican economy expanded by 3.9% (previous year: 5.4%).
GDP growth declined to 2.9% in Brazil (previous year: 7.5%), but stayed on a level with the previous year in Argentina, at 9.2%. Inflationary pressures continued in both countries.
Most of Asia’s emerging economies continued to see dynamic growth in fiscal year 2011. At 9.2%, economic growth in China was only slightly below the prior year (10.4%). The Indian economy expanded by 7.0% (previous year: 8.8%). The natural disasters in Japan led to a 0.7% decrease in GDP (previous year: +4.4%).