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Business

VW sales figures highlight weaknesses

German carmaker VW has announced sales figures for the first quarter. They reveal where the firm's biggest building sites are and what may have caused friction at the top as an executive power struggle drew to a close.

Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen reported Friday it shifted almost 2.5 million vehicles globally in the first three months of the year, marking a 1.8-percent rise from the same period a year earlier.

While the total figure looked fine on paper, it gave rise to some concern as the company's core brand, VW, saw sales dropping by 1.3 percent, with other brands such as Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda being able to offset the resulting impact.

Analysts were also

worried about the poor performance of Europe's largest carmaker

in the second most important vehicle market globally, the US, where sales dipped by 1.4 percent in the third quarter year-on-year.

Much work ahead

The number of cars sold in the most important market, China, rose by another 2 percent, but much slower than the sector in general.

Compact SUVs and no-frills cars are in particular high demand among consumers in Asia, but VW doesn't have anything in its portfolio that fits this profile.

The company has been working on a budget car for quite some time, but no official date has been released yet as to when such a model will hit showrooms.

hg/pad (dpa, Reuters)

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