VW brand sales rise 5% in January as Europe demand revives

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Volkswagen Group increased global sales at its core VW passenger-car brand by 5 percent to 515,700 in January, as sales regained momentum in Europe.

"For the first time in its history Volkswagen Passenger Cars has started the year with deliveries in excess of half a million," VW sales chief Christian Klingler said in a statement on Tuesday.

The figure compares with 491,900 in January last year.

VW brand sales in Europe grew by 8 percent last month to 126,200, outpacing a 3 percent rise in the overall market. Sales in western Europe, excluding Germany, rose 9 percent to 66,100, with sales in VW's home market also rising 9 percent to 41,400.

Sales in China rose by 14 percent to 267,800 vehicles, while deliveries in the United States fell 19 percent to 23,500.

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