Volkswagen AG (VOW), Europe’s biggest carmaker, said the market in several European countries is stabilizing and confirmed a target to sell 9.5 million vehicles this year as the race to become the global leader gathers steam.
Volkswagen’s ten-month sales rose 4.7 percent compared with a year earlier to 7.85 million vehicles, the company, that includes the Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini luxury brands, said in a statement today. Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, has a goal to overtake Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and General Motors Co. (GM:US) by 2018 and sell more than 10 million cars per year.
“We are seeing the first signs that the markets in France and Spain as well as Italy are stabilizing,” Christian Klingler, VW’s head of sales, said in the statement. “The delivery situation in China remains very encouraging.”
Growth in China, Volkswagen’s single biggest market, has helped the company offset the muted demand in Europe, where deliveries are expected to reach a 20-year low this year. Volkswagen’s China sales increased 17 percent to 2.65 million vehicles in the year to October. Deliveries in Europe contracted 1.8 percent to 3.05 million cars and sport-utility vehicles.
Sales were fueled by demand for Audi’s Q3 SUV and A3 compact family as well as a recovery at VW’s Spanish Seat unit. Volkswagen’s namesake brand sold 4.88 million vehicles globally, an increase of 3.4 percent compared to last year.
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