As demand in China more than offset a slump in Europe, for the first time in its history Volkswagen AG’s worldwide sales topped 7 million vehicles, the company announced in a statement.
The maker of VW, Audi and Porsche brand vehicles is relying on growth in China, the world’s largest auto market, to balance slumping demand in its home region, where sales are set to drop for a sixth straight year. VW has a goal of passing General Motors and Toyota by 2018 to become the world’s biggest auto manufacturer.
“Thanks to a broad-based, international positioning and a convincing product range we were able to respond well to the continuing uncertainty in the euro zone and the challenging overall market situation,” Christian Klingler, VW sales chief, said in the statement.
Deliveries rose 4.8% to 7.03 million cars and trucks, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker, the region’s largest, said in an e-mailed statement today. September sales also gained 7% to 856,900 vehicles.
VW’s nine-months sales in China rose 18% to 2.35 million cars and sport-utility vehicles, boosted by locally produced vehicles such as Audi’s Q3 and Q5 SUVs. European deliveries contracted 2.4% to 2.73 million vehicles.