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Business

Volkswagen boosts sales despite eurozone crisis

German carmaker Volkswagen has been able to increase its sales in the first seven months of the year. The Wolfsburg-based group comprising seven brands reported strong business in all markets except southern Europe.

Germany's Volkswagen sold 5.19 million cars in the period between January and July 2012, Europe's largest automaker reported. Sales went up by 9.1 percent year-on-year.

In July alone, VW saw a 10.3 month-on-month increase to 734,600 units and was thus able to outshine its major competitors by far.

"All in all, we've had a successful start to the second half of 2012 and could boost sales even further," the company's executive board member Christian Klingler said in a statement.

Volkswagen reported particularly brisk business in North America, with 457,900 cars sold to the region in the first seven months, up 21.9 percent from last year's level.

Bucking the trend

Sales even improved overall in crisis-stricken Europe, with 2.23 million units leaving showrooms on the continent between January and July. VW logged a 4.4-percent increase on its home market, while the volume of cars sold in the whole of western Europe dipped by 5.9 percent as a result of the protracted debt crisis in many nations.

Spanish subsidiary Seat remained a concern for the VW Group as sales dropped by 12.2 percent to 189,200 units. But Mexico provided a first bright spot for Seat, with sales having risen there by 21.8 percent since the beginning of the year.

Volkswagen has been trying to make the Spanish subsidiary profitable again by opening up new markets, including China and Russia.

hg/slk (Reuters, dpa)