Volkswagen Group has released its quarter-year sales and financial reports and while things were a little challenging for the automotive behemoth to start 2024 there are predictions for a much better short-term future.

The division that interests us the most here at Truck & Bus News is the Volkswagen heavy commercial vehicle stable – known as Traton, the parent company of both Scania and MAN.

Traton sales across the first three months, incorporating brands including Scania, Navistar, and MAN, and across both truck and bus products, fell four per cent on the same period in 2023 to a total of 81,148 units.

Of those units, trucks accounted for 68,772 sales, down two per cent and bus deliveries, which declined a more substantial 34 per cent to 5,032.

MAN TGE Vans accounted for the balance of sales in the period with 7,344 sales, which were up nine per cent .

Sales revenue was up however.

In total, Traton increased revenue from truck, bus and van sales by five per cent to around $AUD19 billion (12 billion Euros).

While the truck divisions employed more than 104,000 people, according to Volkswagen.

Interestingly, Traton is proving to be a lucrative division for the group, margins on trucks, buses, and vans sit at nine per cent, which is better than the group’s average operating return on sales, which ranges between seven per cent and 7.5 per cent.

Volkswagen Group CFO & COO Arno Antlitz is expecting the sales downturns experienced in quarter one of 2024 to turn around.

“As expected, our first quarter results show a slow start to the year. We remain confident of achieving our financial targets for 2024.

“A strong March, the solid order bank, and the improving order intake in the past months are encouraging and should already have a positive impact in the second quarter.

“We expect additional momentum over the year from the launch of more than 30 new models across all brands.

“At the same time, the effects of our efficiency programmes will gradually unfold as the year progresses. In this context, it will be particularly important to vigorously counteract the increase in fixed costs and exercise investment discipline.”