VW brand sales rise 4.3% in September
China, U.S. demand offsets drop in western Europe deliveries
FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen said global vehicle deliveries of its core VW-brand were up by 4.3 percent to 492,500 last month, as the automaker increased sales in most major markets except western Europe.
Strong demand in China, the United States and Russia helped offset a continuing decline in deliveries in European markets such as Germany, Italy, France and Spain, where low consumer confidence is keeping buyers away from showrooms.
VW sales chief Christian Klingler said western Europe markets remain difficult but the automaker is optimistic because "we are launching our most important vehicle, the new Golf, over the coming weeks."
The Golf is Europe's best-selling car. Klingler said orders for the seventh-generation model had already topped 15,000.
VW brand's nine-month global deliveries rose 10.6 percent to 4.21 million.
Sales in western Europe, excluding Germany, were down 6.2 percent to 653,300 during the period. In VW's German home market deliveries fell 0.6 percent to 447,000. Overall European sales for the brand rose 0.2 percent to 1.3 million.
In China, VW's biggest single market, VW brand deliveries increased 17.2 percent to 1.52 million. In the United States, where the automaker is spending $4 billion to boost its market share, sales rose 37.2 percent to 323,100.
In Russia, sales grew 55.9 percent to 123,000, while in South America, they rose 8.1 percent to 626,200.
VW did not issue July sales numbers for individual markets.
The automaker said on Monday that group sales increased 10.6 percent during the first nine months to 6.8 million vehicles, according to an online presentation.
VW Group aims to pass General Motors Co. to become the world's best-selling automaker by 2018. In 2011, VW sold 8.27 million units, behind GM, whose sales were 9.05 million and ahead of No. 3 Toyota at 7.95 million.
Reuters contributed to this report
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