A Volkswagen employee picks up a logo to be fitted on the VW Tiguan and Touran models. (Odd Andersen / Getty Images)
Volkswagen AG’s nine-month sales topped 7 million vehicles for the first time as demand in China more than offset a slump in Europe.
Deliveries rose 4.8 percent to 7.03 million cars and trucks, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker, the region’s largest, said in an emailed statement Friday. September sales gained 7 percent to 856,900 vehicles.
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 Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. 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.
VW’s nine-months sales in China rose 18 percent 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 percent to 2.73 million vehicles.