Prospects for 2022
Our planning is based on the assumption that global economic output will continue to grow in 2022, albeit at a somewhat lower level overall, after the recovery observed in the past fiscal year – provided that the Covid-19 pandemic does not flare up again and that shortages of intermediates and commodities become less intense. We continue to believe that risks will arise from protectionist tendencies, turbulence in the financial markets and structural deficits in individual countries. In addition, growth prospects will be negatively impacted by ongoing geopolitical tensions and conflicts, with risks arising especially from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. We anticipate that both the advanced economies and the emerging markets will experience positive momentum.
We predict that trends in the markets for passenger cars in the individual regions will be mixed in 2022. Overall, the global volume of new vehicle sales is expected to be moderately up on the prior year without reaching the pre-pandemic level. This prediction assumes that the Covid-19 pandemic does not flare up again and that shortages of intermediates, especially semiconductors, and commodities become less intense. For 2022, we anticipate that the volume of new passenger car registrations in Western Europe will be distinctly above that recorded in the reporting period. In the German passenger car market, we expect the volume of new registrations in 2022 to also distinctly exceed the prior-year figure. Sales of passenger cars in 2022 are expected to moderately exceed the prior-year figures in markets in Central and Eastern Europe – subject to the further development of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Sales volume in the markets for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (up to 6.35 tonnes) in North America in 2022 is forecast to be slightly higher than the previous year’s level. We anticipate a moderate increase overall in new registrations in the South American markets in 2022 compared with the previous year. The passenger car markets in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to be slightly up on the prior-year level in 2022.
Trends in the markets for light commercial vehicles in the individual regions will also be mixed; on the whole, we anticipate a slight increase in the sales volume for 2022. This assumes that the Covid-19 pandemic does not flare up again and that shortages of intermediates, especially semiconductors, and commodities become less intense.
For 2022, we expect a significantly positive development in new registrations for mid-sized and heavy trucks with a gross weight of more than six tonnes compared with the previous year, with variations from region to region, in the markets that are relevant for the Volkswagen Group. A pronounced increase in overall demand, with regional variations, is expected for 2022 in the bus markets relevant for the Volkswagen Group.
We anticipate that automotive financial services will continue to prove highly important to global vehicle sales in 2022.
We believe we are well prepared overall for the future challenges pertaining to automotive business activities and for the mixed development of the regional automotive markets. Our brand diversity, our presence in all major world markets, our broad and selectively expanded product range, and our technologies and services put us in a good competitive position worldwide. As part of the transformation of our core business, we are positioning our Group brands with an even stronger focus on their individual characteristics, and are optimizing our vehicle and drive portfolio. The focus is primarily on our vehicle fleet’s carbon footprint and on the most attractive and fastest-growing market segments. In addition, we are working to leverage the advantages of our multibrand Group even more effectively with the ongoing development of new technologies and the enhancement of our toolkits.
We anticipate that, given the continuing challenging market conditions, deliveries to customers of the Volkswagen Group in 2022 will be 5 % to 10 % up on the previous year. This assumes that the Covid-19 pandemic will not flare up again and that shortages of intermediates and commodities will become less intense. The 2022 fiscal year will continue to be affected by shortfalls in supply due to the structural shortage of semiconductors. We anticipate that the supply of semiconductors will improve in the second half of the year, compared with the first half.
Challenges will arise particularly from the economic situation, the increasing intensity of competition, volatile commodity and foreign exchange markets, securing supply chains and more stringent emissions-related requirements.
We expect the sales revenue of the Volkswagen Group and of the Passenger Cars Business Area in 2022 to be 8 % to 13 % higher than the prior-year figure. In terms of operating result for the Group and the Passenger Cars Business Area, we forecast an operating return on sales in the range of 7.0 % to 8.5 % in 2022. For the Commercial Vehicles Business Area, we anticipate an operating return on sales of 5.0 % to 7.0 % amid a strong year-on-year increase in sales revenue, including Navistar. In the Power Engineering Business Area, we expect sales revenue to be moderately above the prior-year figure and operating result to be in the low triple-digit million euro range. For the Financial Services Division, we forecast that sales revenue will be noticeably higher than the prior-year figure and that the operating result will be around €4.5 billion.
Wolfsburg, March 1, 2022
The Board of Management
This annual report contains forward-looking statements on the business development of the Volkswagen Group. These statements are based on assumptions relating to the development of the economic, political and legal environment in individual countries, economic regions and markets, and in particular for the automotive industry, which we have made on the basis of the information available to us and which we consider to be realistic at the time of going to press. The estimates given entail a degree of risk, and actual developments may differ from those forecast. Any changes in significant parameters relating to our key sales markets, any significant shifts in exchange rates or commodities relevant to the Volkswagen Group or in parts supply (especially semiconductors), or any deviations in the actual effects of the Covid-19 pandemic from the scenario presented in this report will have a corresponding effect on the development of our business. In addition, there may be departures from our expected business development if the assessments of the factors influencing sustainable value enhancement and of risks and opportunities presented in this annual report develop in a way other than we are currently expecting, or if additional risks and opportunities or other factors emerge that affect the development of our business.