FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen said global deliveries of its core VW-brand vehicles increased by 19.7 percent to 466,300 in August, extending the year-to-date gain by 11.5 percent to 3.7 million.
Strong sales particularly in China, Russia and the United States offset a continuing drop in demand from western Europe, where flat consumer confidence in markets such as Italy, France and Spain is keeping buyers away from showrooms.
''The brand enjoyed growth in August, some of it strong, particularly outside Europe. However, the ongoing difficult market environment in western Europe continues to demand our undivided attention," VW sales chief Christian Klingler said in a statement on Tuesday.
The automaker said eight-month VW-brand deliveries in western Europe, excluding Germany, dropped 5.4 percent to 574,500. In VW's German home market, the largest economy in the region, sales rose 1.6 percent to 401,200. Overall European sales for the brand rose 2.0 percent to 1.15 million.
In China, VW's biggest single market, VW-brand deliveries increased 16.3 percent to 1.32 million. In the United States, where the automaker says it is spending $4 billion to boost its market share, sales rose 37.6 percent to 286,800. In Russia, sales grew 62.8 percent to 108,900, while in South America, they rose 10.8 percent to 567,300.
VW did not issue July sales numbers for individual markets.
VW Group aims to pass General Motors Co. to become the world's best-selling automaker by 2018. In 2011, VW sold 8.27 million units, behind GM with 9.05 million and ahead of No. 3 Toyota with 7.95 million.