Volkswagen AG's sales in China rose 60 percent in the first quarter. VW Group delivered a total of 457,259 cars to customers in China and Hong Kong during the first three months of 2010. The sharp increase in sales in the world's largest auto market “surpassed our expectations,” said VW´s head of China, Winfried Vahland.
The VW brand sold 362,874 cars in the first quarter, a 53 percent rise over the same period last year. Meanwhile VW Group premium brand Audi increased its volume 77 percent to 51,440 cars and VW Czech subsidiary Skoda's sales jumped 121 percent to 42,707 units.
After the strong start to the year, VW expects the Chinese market to exceed previous growth estimates. Many analysts expect China's car sales to grow about 10 percent. this year Others feel China sales will increase by 25 percent.
VW says its aim is to grow faster than the market.
China overtook the United States last year to become the world's largest auto market last year, with sales increasing 46 percent to a record 13.6 million vehicles.
dpa contributed to the report