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Emerging Car Markets Power Volkswagen's Global Sales

Despite rising gas prices, Europe's biggest carmaker Volkswagen's global sales climbed by 5.8 percent in the first six months of the year, powered ahead by surging demand in emerging markets.

Volkswagen delivery tower in Wolfsburg, Germany

VW sales grew the most in India

The rise in VW's worldwide deliveries to 3.27 million was the highest figure reached by the carmaker during the first six months of the year but it also warned that world car markets were facing tougher conditions.

The increase during the first six months of the year followed a 23.2-percent jump in sales in China along with a 21.8-percent rise in Brazil and an 18.7-percent increase in central and eastern Europe's booming car markets.

In particular, sales during the first six months of the year raced ahead by 69.2 percent in India, by 63.3 percent in Russia and by 46.9 percent in Ukraine.

Sales down in western Europe

Storm clouds

Storm clouds are gathering over the car market, said VW's president

The buoyant sales in emerging markets compared to the group's more subdued performance in Germany and western Europe, where deliveries edged up 1.3 percent and fell by 3.6 percent respectively during the period from January to June.

But releasing the results, VW executive president Detlef Wittig warned that despite the increase, negative factors were accumulating.

"The storm clouds are clearly gathering over the world's automobile markets," he said. "Nevertheless, thanks to the strength of our brand and our model range, our development in June and throughout the first months of 2008 has clearly been better than general market trends and we have grown our market share worldwide."

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