Volkswagen Group South Africa says its commercial vehicle arm enjoyed its best first quarter in four years, with total sales of 2 173 units achieved in the first three months of 2019.

This represents growth of 16,8 percent compared with the same period in 2018, and a light commercial vehicle market share of 5,1 percent.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles SA reported 1 547 registrations in the first quarter of the year, with the Amarok double-cab range accounting for 914 sales (and a best of 495 units in February).

Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2019, the Volkswagen Group as a whole (that is, including Audi) hit a market share of 23 percent in SA’s passenger vehicle segment, delivering some 21 601 vehicles in that period.

“Faced with a tough and challenging economic climate, the performance of our brands in the first quarter of 2019 is encouraging. All of our three Brands – Volkswagen Passenger, Audi and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles - performed well in their respective segments. We hope to maintain this positive trend into the next quarter,” said Mike Glendinning, director for sales and marketing at VW SA.

“Our prediction is that 2019 will be a year of two halves due to local and international economic and socio-political uncertainties. The latest financial indicators show that there are challenging times ahead that will place pressure on the local automotive industry.

“As VW SA, we however remain confident that the strength of our brands, which are ably supported by a strong dealer network, will ensure that we maintain our passenger car market leadership. We also have exciting vehicles like the new Audi Q8, Audi Q3, Audi A1 as well as the Volkswagen T-Cross coming into the market soon,” Glendinning added.