VW brand sets 2012 sales record; set for 'difficult' 2013
MUNICH -- Volkswagen brand sales surged in December to push its full-year worldwide volume up 13 percent to a record 5.74 million vehicles, the company said on Friday.
VW brand sales jumped 31 percent during the final month of 2012 to 517,900 units. Despite the strong finish, Europe's No. 1 brand is wary about 2013.
"[This year] will be a very demanding year, and we will be facing new and difficult challenges. But we are well prepared," VW sales chief Christian Klingler said in a statement.
Unlike many of its volume rivals, VW brand was able to avoid a steep decline in Europe as its total 2012 vehicle sales in the region dipped just 1 percent to 1.70 million vehicles.
By comparison, Citroen's 2012 sales in Europe fell 13 percent to 825,000 vehicles, the French automaker reported this week.
VW brand's overall results in the region were helped by rising demand in central and eastern Europe as well as Russia. Deliveries in central and eastern Europe jumped 22 percent to 267,100 units while the brand's volume in Russia soared 40 percent to 164,700 vehicles.
Thing were much tougher in western Europe. Excluding Germany, deliveries fell by 7 percent to 844,500 vehicles. VW's volume dipped 1 percent in its home market to 586,100 units.
In China, VW brand sales increased 25 percent to 2.15 million, making it the company's largest single market. U.S. sales jumped 35 percent to 438,100 vehicles.
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