Volkswagen AG (VOW), Europe’s biggest carmaker, said sales at its namesake brand rose 12 percent in July as stronger demand in China made up for a decline in western Europe.
VW-brand deliveries increased to 468,300 cars and sport- utility vehicles from 418,600 autos a year earlier, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based manufacturer said today in a statement. Seven-month sales rose 10 percent to 3.26 million vehicles, accelerating from a 9.5 percent first-half gain.
“The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand has grown global deliveries further, despite the continued difficult market situation, above all in western Europe,” Christian Klingler, the company’s sales chief, said in the statement.
The VW brand has offset a contraction in western European economies by expanding in the U.S. and China while volume manufacturers that are more dependent on the region, such as PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) and Fiat SpA (F), eliminate jobs and cut capacity. Car sales in the European Union are forecast to drop 7 percent this year to 12.2 million vehicles, according to the ACEA auto- industry group.
In the first seven months of 2012, VW’s sales in western Europe, excluding Germany, fell 5 percent to 528,200 vehicles. The brand’s deliveries rose 2.5 percent to 361,400 cars and SUVs in its home country in the period.
Demand for VW vehicles in China rose 15 percent to 1.14 million vehicles through July. The brand’s U.S. sales surged 34 percent to 245,700 autos.
A new generation of the Golf hatchback is scheduled to be unveiled on Sept. 4 and enter showrooms in the fourth quarter. The compact accounted for 17 percent of VW-brand sales in 2011.
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