Volkswagen Group Global Sales up 1.3% in January image

Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, on Friday said group vehicle sales rose 1.3 percent in January to 652,500 units.

“We have made an encouraging start, but 2012 will be a challenging year. As expected, the prevailing economic uncertainty is impacting the automotive industry.

We will continue to keep a very close eye on the market situation, particularly in Europe”, the Group Board Member for Sales, Christian Klingler, said in Wolfsburg on Friday.

In Europe, deliveries by the Volkswagen Group slipped 1 percent to 259,900 units from 262,500 vehicles last January. Sales in VW’s German home market fell 1 percent to 74,100 cars.
While customers in Western Europe (excluding Germany) showed slightly greater caution than a year earlier, purchasing 144,400 (156,700; -7.8 percent) vehicles, deliveries in Central and Eastern Europe grew by 33.6 percent to 41,400 (31,000) units.

In United States, Volkswagen of America reported a 48 percent rise in U.S. sales, led by the Jetta and Passat sedans.

In Asia VW said sales remained largely stable. In January, 233,500 (239,500; -2.5 percent) vehicles were handed over there. In China, the largest single market, deliveries were not quite able to match last year’s high level due to the Chinese New Year festival, and decreased slightly to 208,200 (217,900; -4.5 percent) units.