FRANKFURT – Sales of Volkswagen Group vehicles 11 percent in August as the automaker continued to defy a downturn in the global economy.
The group's retail sales for all brands, including the Audi, Skoda and Seat brands, rose to 605,200 vehicles.
Unit sales rose 14 percent in the first eight months. The group has sold 5.36 million cars since January, with Audi and Skoda showing high growth, both helped by China's expanding market.
Audi sales grew 17.4 percent to 853,000 in eight months. Skoda sales were up 18.3 percent to 583,600 in the same period.
VW brand sales increased by 12.1 percent to 3.34 million between January and August, while Seat sales grew 2.3 percent to 236,200.
VW Group continued to see strong growth in key markets. China sales were up 15 percent to 1.48 million in the first eight months. U.S. sales increased 19.1 percent to 285,100.
In Europe, sales grew 10.6 percent to 2.43 million. Growth was slower in western Europe. Sales in the region, excluding Germany, rose 6 percent to 1.33 million.
At home in Germany, VW's biggest single European market, sales rose 12.1 percent to 761,100.
The group's eight-month growth will give it a boost as it challenges Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. to become the world's best-selling automaker by 2018.
In 2010, VW group sold 7.14 million units, behind Toyota with 8.42 million and GM with 8.39 million.