Volkswagen, the biggest European car maker, posted record first-half sales with a surge in China helping to boost global deliveries to 3.27m vehicles.
The company said in a statement yesterday that the figure represented an increase of 5.8pc over the figure for the first six months of 2007, with China alone taking in 531,600 vehicles – a leap of 23.6pc. It was the first time VW has sold more than a half-million cars in China over the six-month period.
Brazil also boosted VW’s results, posting a 21.8pc increase to 316,000 units, while sales in India grew 69pc. Sales in central and eastern Europe were also strong, the statement said. There were 63pc more deliveries in Russia and 50pc more in Ukraine.
VW’s mature western European market had a much weaker performance, posting a 1.3pc increase to 1.84m vehicles, of which 534,000 were sold in Germany itself.
“We see more storm clouds gathering over the worldwide auto market,” Detlef Wittig, Volkswagen’s production chief, said. “Nonetheless, with the strength of the brand and the model selection, we clearly developed better than the overall market.”