FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen said on Tuesday that global sales of its core brand jumped 16.3 percent in October to 501,300 vehicles, the second-largest gain of the past eight months.
The automaker increased sales in most major markets except western Europe, with strong demand in China, the United States and Russia helping to offset a continuing decline in deliveries in European markets such as Germany, Italy, France and Spain, where low consumer confidence is keeping buyers out of showrooms.
"The picture in Europe remains difficult. The markets in western Europe in particular demand our full attention,'' VW sales chief Christian Klingler said in a statement on Tuesday.
Future European sales volumes may benefit from demand for the new seventh-generation Golf, which went on sale in the region on Nov. 10, and has already attracted more than 40,000 orders, Klinger said.
Global market sales
Global VW brand sales rose 11.2 percent to 4.72 million through October, the automaker said.
Deliveries in western Europe, excluding Germany, were down 6.0 percent to 719,100 in the first 10 months. In VW's German home market deliveries fell 0.6 percent to 501,300. Overall European sales for the brand rose 0.5 percent to 1.44 million.
In China, VW's biggest single market, VW brand deliveries increased 18.4 percent to 1.71 million. In the United States, where the automaker is spending $4 billion to boost its market share, sales rose 35.6 percent to 357,400.
In Russia, sales grew 50.8 percent to 137,200, while in South America they rose 8.9 percent to 699,600.
VW did not issue October 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, whose sales were 9.05 million and ahead of No. 3 Toyota at 7.95 million.
VW is due to publish group sales data on Friday.
Reuters contributed to this report