Volkswagen Group Rocks the Record Book

Despite a shaky global economy, Volkswagen Group is having its best half-year in its history and continues to perform better than the world market.

From January through June, the company delivered more than 4 million vehicles worldwide for a 14 percent increase over the same period in 2010, Volkswagen Group announced Friday (7-15) from its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

"Our performance demonstrates the strength of our model range,” said Christian Klinger, Volkswagen Group board member overseeing sales. “We are also confident we can perform better than the global automobile market during the second half of the year, thanks to our very convincing range of models.”

But it’s uncertain if the momentum from the first half of the year will carry into the second half.

“Success in the second six months won’t be automatic. Plenty of hard work lies ahead to keep our deliveries during the second half of the year at a high level,” Klinger said. “We are … confident we can perform better than the global automobile market during the second half of the year.”

Deliveries on the American continent significantly contributed to Volkswagen Group’s record-setting achievement.

The number of vehicles sold in North America in the first half of the year increased 21.2 percent with 319,100 vehicles delivered, compared to 263,200 in the first six months of 2010. The U.S. market accounted for 211,100 vehicles for a 20.4 percent increase over 2010.

South American deliveries were even stronger, with 455,200 vehicles delivered there, compared to 410,600 last year for a 10.9 percent increase.

The group’s Asian and Pacific sales region showed the most growth.

The group delivered a total of 1.26 million vehicles in that region for a 19.5 percent increase over the previous year. In China, Volkswagen Group’s largest single market, the Chinese bought the most, 1.11 million vehicles for a 16.4 percent increase.

India turned in the strongest percentage growth, 217.2 percent, accounting for 55,100 vehicles compared to 17,200 last year.

Volkswagen Group brands delivered a total of 1.90 million vehicles to customers in Europe during the first half of the year, a 9.3 percent increase. In Western Europe (excluding Germany), 1.07 (million customers took delivery of a new vehicle for a 5.5 percent increase. Group brands also reported continued high growth in Central and Eastern Europe, handing the keys to more than 253,700 vehicles for a 28.9 percent increase.

In its home market of Germany, the Volkswagen Group achieved 9.3 percent growth, delivering 580,600 (531,300) vehicles compared to 531,300 last year.

Here’s a breakdown of deliveries by brand:

• Volkswagen’s passenger cars accounted for 2.5 million vehicles for an 11.8 percent increase, a record for that brand.

• Audi delivered a 17.7 percent increase with 653,000 autos.

• The Skoda brand increase 20.1 percent by delivering 454,700 vehicles, with the Czech automaker performing well in Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia.

• Volkswagen commercial vehicles showed a strong demand with a 29 percent increase accounting for 260,300 vehicles and sales were particularly strong in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.

• Deliveries of the Spanish brand, SEAT, increased overall only 2.5 percent, but showed growth particularly in Germany at 24.9 percent, France 16.7 percent and Italy, 13.7 percent.