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VW breaks sales record

2008-01-15 07:39

Detroit - Volkswagen, the world's fourth largest carmaker, increased group vehicle sales by 7.9% to a record 6.189 million units last year thanks to growth at all eight brands. Further gain is forecast for 2008.

"There will be growth, but whether it will be 8% again, I cannot say," chief executive Martin Winterkorn told reporters at the Detroit auto show.

He added that pretax profit exceeded the €5.1bn previously forecast for 2007, but declined to say by how much.

Each nameplate from Volkswagen's stable of brands was able to improve its sales performance over 2006.

The group's flagship VW brand increased sales by 7.8% to a record 3.66 million vehicles, thanks to strong gains in Brazil, China as well as Central and Eastern Europe, where demand grew anywhere from a quarter to nearly a third.

Volkswagen's premium marque Audi saw its sales rise by 6.5% to 964 200 vehicles as the brand with the four interlocking rings managed to rack up its twelfth straight year of sales records.

While the group's struggling Spanish unit SEAT managed to eke out tiny growth of 0.4% to 431 000 units, the success of Volkswagen's Czech value brand Skoda continued unabated with sales jumping 14.6% to 630 000 cars.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which overwhelmingly builds delivery vans like the Caddy and larger Crafter models, increased its sales by 10.7% to 488 700 units.

The group's super luxury brand Bentley broke the 10 000 mark in unit sales by just over 10 cars for a rise 6.7%, while Lamborghini sold 2 400 super sports cars and Bugatti delivered 81 Veyrons.

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