Volkswagen delivered a record 1.47 million vehicles during the first quarter, as a growth spurt in China helped compensate for a dip in sales at home, the German automaker said today.
The Wolfsburg-based group said deliveries were up 7.9 percent compared with a year earlier in the January-March period. It said all its brands -- which as well as Volkswagen include Skoda, Audi, Bentley and Bugatti -- contributed.
Volkswagen AG said first-quarter sales in Germany fell by 4.9 percent as the country raised its value-added tax to 19 percent, from 16 percent, with 235,000 vehicles sold.
However, "we were more than able to compensate for the expected drop in sales in Germany ... by rises, some of them quite considerable, in other key world markets," CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement.
"An important success factor is the very pleasing growth on the Chinese market," he added. Sales there grew by 23 percent to 203,000.
Other growth areas included central and eastern Europe, where deliveries rose by nearly 26 percent to 109,000 vehicles; and Brazil, which saw an increase of 21.4 percent to 120,000.
Volkswagen posted only slight growth in the United States, where sales expanded by 0.7 percent to 73,000 vehicles.