BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG said sales increased 8.6 percent in May helped by growing demand in China and the U.S.
Deliveries at Volkswagen's seven car brands and commercial-vehicles unit rose to 604,200 from 556,500 a year earlier, the company said. Five-month sales gained 18 percent to 2.94 million.
“Volkswagen is currently reaping greater than average benefits from very good demand in important markets such as China and the U.S.,” VW sales chief Christian Klingler said in a statement.
Volkswagen is targeting a second consecutive year of record sales as it adds 60 models, including upgrades, in 2010. The carmaker will build its 10th plant in China as part of a plan to double production capacity in its biggest market to 3 million vehicles within four years, VW said on June 9.
China, where Volkswagen is investing 6 billion euros ($7.3 billion), is critical to CEO Martin Winterkorn's goal of surpassing Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest carmaker, in sales and profitability by 2018.
VW's sales in the world's biggest auto market surged 48 percent in the first five months to 777,800 units.
“Volkswagen sales keep growing across major markets though the pace of gains is slowing as sales incentives expire,” said Christian Aust, an analyst at UniCredit SpA in Munich, before the figures were published.
U.S. five-month deliveries increased 34 percent to 145,500 cars and SUVs while European sales rose 6.5 percent to 1.42 million units, according to the statement. Volkswagen's deliveries in Germany fell 12 percent to 436,900. The expiration of a scrappage incentives program has pushed down German sales.
Volkswagen agreed to buy a 90.1 percent stake in Italdesign-Giugiaro SpA last month to expand its vehicle-design team as it enlarges its model range.
The carmaker targets annual sales of more than 10 million vehicles by 2018.