FRANKFURT (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen said group global sales rose to more than 9.7 million vehicles in 2013, with the record deliveries fueled by growth in demand for Audi and Porsche models.
Surging sales in China, where Volkswagen outsold General Motors Co. for the first time in nine years, more than offset weaker deliveries in the United States at the namesake VW brand, the manufacturer's biggest division by volume, VW said in a statement.
VW sales last year, excluding the MAN and Scania heavy truck brands, climbed 4.8 percent to 9.5 million vehicles.
Sales by the VW nameplate rose 3.4 percent last year to 5.93 million cars and SUVs.
Audi, the world's second-largest maker of luxury vehicles after BMW, increased deliveries 8.3 percent to 1.58 million. Sales at Porsche jumped 15 percent to 162,145 vehicles.
Skoda sales fell 2 percent to 920,800 vehicles in 2013 as model changeovers hit volume. Sales at the Spanish brand Seat rose nearly 11 percent to 355,000, helped by the new-generation Leon compact car, as well as a 20 percent sales increase to 76,600 units in Germany and 17 percent growth to 45,700 units in the UK.
Volume at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles unit was flat at 551,900.
"As far as the current year is concerned, we expect market developments on a level similar to 2013," Christian Klingler, VW's sales chief, said in the statement. "Even though the situation in Europe would appear to be stabilizing, economic uncertainty will continue and the challenges we will be facing on markets will remain virtually unchanged."
VW introduced 60 new and updated models in 2013, including fresh versions of the VW Golf hatchback, and widened dealership networks in markets such as China, Russia and southeast Asia in its bid to become the world's largest automaker by 2018.
It recaptured the lead last year among foreign automakers in China, the world's largest car market, with a 16 percent increase to 3.27 million vehicles.
The VW car brand has an eventual target to lift operating profit to more than 6 percent of sales from 3.5 percent in 2012, according to a Sept. 9 presentation by Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch that didn't specify deadlines.
Seat, which posted an operating loss of 156 million euros in 2012, plans an operating-profit margin exceeding 5 percent.
Volkswagen will roll out the Golf Sportsvan in 2014 and introduce a new generation of the mid-sized Passat sedan and station wagon.