VW cuts European sales target by 150,000 vehicles-magazine

FRANKFURT, Sept 9 Sun Sep 9, 2012 7:40pm IST

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FRANKFURT, Sept 9 (Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen has cut its internal 2012 sales target for Western Europe by 150,000 vehicles, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel said, without citing sources.

The estimate reported by Der Spiegel is lower than the 250,000 figure reported last week in German daily Handelsblatt, which the company denied.

Upon being asked about the 150,000 figure, a spokesman on Sunday declined to comment on the specific number but said, "We are still doing well. We are growing. But we have always said the coming months will be challenging. Because of this we will make adjustments here and there."

On Friday Volkswagen confirmed it had lowered its internal sales target but declined to say by how much.

Handelsblatt had reported that VW, which has not published a full-year sales target, had cut its expectations for full-year sales by 300,000 vehicles to 9.4 million globally.

The paper further said VW had cut its expectation for sales in Europe - not Western Europe - by 250,000 vehicles, citing company sources. But the auto maker was quick to issue a denial.

"The figures reported by Handelsblatt have no basis," a VW spokesman said at the time.

Volkswagen, on course to overtake U.S. rival General Motors this year as the world's second biggest carmaker, aims to sell 10 million vehicles by 2018, up from the 8.36 million recorded last year, and push past Japanese group Toyota .

VW said last month group deliveries rose 9.1 percent in the first eight months to 5.19 million vehicles, adding that the economic situation in Western Europe was still tense.

(Reporting By Jan Schwartz and Joern Poltz; Editing by Greg Mahlich; writing by Edward Taylor)