VW Group sales up 8% in April on Europe, China

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MUNICH -- Volkswagen Group deliveries rose 8 percent to 848,500 vehicles in April as strong demand in Europe and China offset declines in North and South America.

Through four months, VW Group's sales were up 6 percent to 3.25 million as the automaker's VW, Seat, Skoda, Porsche and Audi brands all increased their global deliveries during the period.

VW Group sales boss Christian Klingler said today in a statement that the automaker "made a pleasing start" to the second quarter but warned that "global market conditions are presenting a mixed picture. While there is a downward trend on the markets in South America or in Russia, we are seeing growth in Europe and above all in the Asia-Pacific region, where we continue to outperform the overall market."

VW Group's four-month European sales grew 8 percent to 1.30 million vehicles while deliveries in Asia-Pacific rose 16 percent to 1.31 million, led by a 17 percent increase in China to 1.19 million vehicles. The gains helped offset a 4 percent decline in Russia sales, a 21 percent fall in registrations in South America and a 3 percent dip in North America, Volkswagen said.

Brand gains

The core VW passenger car brand's global deliveries increased 5 percent to 1.99 million vehicles January to April. The brand got a 16 percent boost in Asia-Pacific to 993,400 units during the period.

Audi delivered 561,900 vehicles in the first four months, a 12 percent rise over the same period last year. Sales were helped by a 20 percent increase in Asia-Pacific and an 8 percent rise in North America.

Porsche's global volume rose 5 percent in the first four months to 55,000 while Skoda's worldwide deliveries jumped 13 percent to 336,800. Skoda is getting a big boost from the new Octavia.

Seat's deliveries rose 9 percent to 127,400 vehicles worldwide through April. Growth for the Spanish brand was especially strong in the central and eastern Europe, where its volume rose 82 percent to 8,000 sales.

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