To say the Volkswagen Group had a great 2023 would be an understatement as sales almost reached pre-pandemic levels. With 9.24 million cars delivered by its many brands, shipments grew by a substantial 12 per cent over the preceding year. It's not just because demand was stronger last year, but also because there was a large backlog of orders.

Why? Supply bottlenecks caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. With most of the logistical issues solved, the automotive conglomerate was able to pump out a lot more cars. Deliveries grew in all the VW Group's most important markets, and Western Europe was the largest region, with 3.27 million vehicles (+21 per cent YoY). China was right behind with 3.24 million cars (+2 per cent), followed by North America with 0.99 million units (+18 per cent).

VW T-Cross (2024)

Full sales figures for each brand are going to be published on Friday, but we already know the past 12 months have been excellent for the core VW brand. Shipments were up by 6.7 per cent to about 4.87 million vehicles, so if your maths is accurate, approximately 52.63 per cent of all cars delivered by the Group in 2023 had the VW badge.

Of all the cars the main VW brand sold in 2023, over half of them were an SUV. Shocking, right? The market share of sport utility vehicles blossomed to 54.2 per cent, or 14.9 per cent more than in 2022. SUVs were even more popular in the United States where they accounted for over 81 per cent of all deliveries. In Europe, the subcompact T-Cross was the best-selling SUV after setting records in Germany, United Kingdom, Turkey, and Spain.

One question arises – will Toyota be able to topple the VW Group yet again? Before the Japanese giant releases full sales results for 2023, we’ll remind you it sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2022 when it defended its title for the best-selling automaker for a third year in a row.