October 19, 2015 / 8:04 AM / 3 years ago

Volkswagen says still positive on China for 2015

New Volkswagen cars are seen in an open-air parking lot in Changchun, Jilin province, China, October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) expects to keep gaining market share in China, the world’s biggest car market, and will continue to expand its product portfolio there, it said on Monday.

“We expect to continue on this trajectory as we head toward year end and maintain a positive outlook for fourth quarter results in 2015,” Volkswagen Group China Chief Executive Jochem Heizmann said in a statement.

Volkswagen is reeling from a scandal caused by its rigging of diesel emissions tests, and plans to cut spending on models, technology and production facilities at the VW brand by 1 billion euros ($1 billion) a year through 2019.

But VW China said it would forge ahead with the expansion of its product portfolio, which already includes 148 models ranging from compact cars to sports utility vehicles and large saloons.

It said it was particularly optimistic about future growth in tier 3, 4 and 5 cities, with a burgeoning middle class and low rates of car ownership.

VW reported a 0.8 percent decline in sales in China in September, while the Chinese car market grew for the first time in six months.

($1 = 0.8814 euros)

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Victoria Bryan

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