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Business

High in demand, VW races to single-month sales record

German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) appears able to weather the car crisis in Europe, as it drove sales to a single-month record in August. Thanks to robust demand in Asia the company is set for a record year.

Volkswagen delivered 719,500 cars to customers in August, which was 18.9 percent more than in the same month a year ago, and marked a new monthly sales record for the company, the world's second biggest auto maker announced Friday.

August sales boosted the total number of vehicles sold by the Wolfsburg-based company to 5.91 million so far this year.

Sports car manufacturer Porsche, which became the 12th brand in the corporation after it was fully taken over by VW in August, added 92,474 cars to the tally.

However, growth was primarily driven by robust demand for Volkswagen cars in Asia - notably China - and in the United States.

Describing the current market situation as "mixed," VW sales director Christian Klinger said growth in overseas markets was "stable," while markets in Western Europe required "intensive scrutiny."

Volkswagen passenger car sales, excluding trucks, to crisis-hit eurozone markets slumped 5.8 percent in the first half of 2012, dragging down growth in the whole of Europe to a meager 1.7 percent.

By contrast, the number of cars sold by the German auto maker in China jumped 17.9 percent by the end of August, compared with the same period a year ago, while growth in the United States was even higher, coming in at 33 percent.

However, the steepest rise in sales was reported from Russia, where VW sold 53 percent more cars in the first eight months of 2012.

Volkswagen said it expected to continue to grow at the same pace for the rest of the year, which would add up to a total sales figure of 8.9 million vehicles – 600,000 more than last year.

uhe/mz (dpa, Reuters)