FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group increased sales at its core VW passenger car brand by 7 percent in April, as rebounding demand in Europe and continued growth in China offset lower volume in the United States.
Deliveries of VW brand vehicles rose to 513,400 from a year earlier, extending volume in the first four months to a record 1.99 million, a rise of 5 percent, VW said.
"Volkswagen Passenger Cars grew deliveries yet again in April. On the one hand that is due to good sales developments in China and Europe, and on the other it is attributable to sustained high demand for products such as the Golf," VW sales chief Christian Klingler said in a statement on Monday.
But despite increasing sales in most of its major markets last month, Klinger said challenges remained for the carmaker adding that the global market was still a “mixed bag.”
VW brand's European sales grew by 4 percent to 567,800 through April, while in western Europe, excluding Germany, four-month deliveries rose 7 percent to 298,400. In Germany, sales increased 2 percent to 184,100.
Sales in China were up 18 percent to 921,400 vehicles, while U.S. deliveries fell 10 percent to 118,200.
Sales in South America plummeted 22 percent to 183,900, with deliveries in Brazil, the region’s No. 1 market, falling 18 percent to 144,700.
VW has a goal to "moderately" increase deliveries in 2014 from last year's record 9.7 million vehicles, ranging from VW brand passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks under the MAN and Scania nameplates.
The company plans to run additional production shifts at weekends at its main factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, throughout the second quarter to meet demand for VW brand models including the Golf hatchback and Tiguan compact SUV.
European car sales increased for a sixth straight month in March as a gradual economic recovery in Portugal, Spain and Italy boosted demand for mass-market brands.