FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group said global sales of its core brand rose 3 percent in 2013, helped by demand for the seventh-generation Golf hatchback and strong sales in China.
Global deliveries at the brand increased to a record 5.93 million last year, the company said in a statement today. In December, the fourth month of consecutive growth at the brand, sales also rose 3 percent to 535,200.
"Our new Golf in particular has done extremely well in its first full year on the market and has strengthened Volkswagen's competitive position," sales chief Christian Klingler said in the statement.
Late last year, Klinger said the introduction of the new Golf to China and the United States was expected to add further momentum to brand sales this year.
But Klinger also warned that the brand would be "facing new and difficult challenges in 2014."
VW said brand sales in 2013 fell 4 percent in Europe to 1.64 million. In Germany, deliveries slipped 4 percent to 560,100, while demand in the United States dropped 7 percent to 407,700 in the same period.
In China, the brand's largest single market, sales rose 17 percent to 2.51 million.
Reuters contributed to this report