Volkswagen focuses on productivity in challenging year

(Reuters) – Volkswagen needs to focus on productivity at its mass-market brands to cope with a step up in competition this year as supply chains improve, car production rises and consumers remain under pressure, executives said on Wednesday.

“2023 must be the year of productivity,” finance chief Arno Antlitz told staff newspaper 360 Grad (360 Degrees).

Antlitz and VW brand chief Thomas Schaeffer said supply chain snags would continue to affect output this year, but Antlitz said chip supply was improving.

Volkswagen said last week it expected sales to rise by up to 331 billion euros ($350 billion) this year and forecast a 14% increase in vehicle deliveries from 2022.

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(Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Mark Potter)