VW posts record first-half sales at 3.58 million autos
Volkswagen posted on Friday record first-half sales and said it was upbeat about the rest of the year despite an uncertain economic climate and a slower trend in June.
A VW statement said Europe's biggest carmaker delivered 3.58 million vehicles in the first six months of the year, 15.5 percent more than in the same period of 2009.
In June, the group sold 644,600 cars, a gain of 5.7 percent from the same month a year earlier, it added.
VW sales director Christian Klingler was quoted as saying group executives were "optimistic as regards the full year and expect to perform better than the overall market."
But he cautioned the first-half results could not be projected for the next six months because "the economic situation remains uncertain."
China stood out again as the the German group's biggest market, with a rise of 45.7 percent in first-half deliveries to 950,300 vehicles.
In the United States, sales advanced by 29.2 percent meanwhile, while they plunged by 28.7 percent in Germany, "as expected," following the end of state subsidies for scrapping older cars.
Among the group's star performers was the luxury brand Audi, which sold 554,900 vehicles worldwide, for a gain of 19.1 percent.
Audi chairman Rupert Stadler said Friday in an interview that the carmaker was going all out to keep up with demand in China, which could become its main market this year ahead of Germany.
© 2010 AFP