German carmaker Volkswagen has reported record global sales in 2017 after being dogged by the costly emissions cheating scandal. VW made the announcement as it unveiled an updated Jetta model at the Detroit Auto Show.
In figures released to coincide with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Sunday, Volkswagen has announced a 4.2 percent rise in sales to 6.23 million vehicles in 2017.
VW's premium divisions, Audi and Porsche, posted record 2017 deliveries last week.
China was the company's most successful region with 3.18 million cars sold, representing an increase of 5.9 percent over the previous year. Despite a recall by VW and its two Chinese joint ventures over a faulty fuel pump, the development project in China continues. There are plans for nine new models to be introduced by FAW-Volkswagen with five production bases expected to be in operation in 2018.
Only in Germany did sales decline, by 4.7 percent to 531,600.
In the United States, sales rose 5.2 percent to 340,000 — the first time there had been an increase since 2013.
Looking to the future
At the Detroit Auto Show, VW launched an all-new Jetta compact car, presented by the company's US leaders. The Jetta represented a third of the brand's US sales in 2017, with sport-utility vehicles — including the new Atlas and Teramont models — adding to the offer for car buyers.
With a new 8-speed automatic transmission, the redesigned Jetta fits US design and fuel-economy needs and was developed with more input from North American engineers than the previous model.
"Some of our critics thought the diesel crisis would block our view. Instead we have, undeterred by the crisis or rather fired by it, developed our digitization and electrification strategy," Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, a member of VW's executive board, told reporters in December.
VW, the world's largest automaker, is still dealing with the fallout from the systematic cheating of government emission tests for diesel-powered vehicles. Fines and costs of $30 billion (€24.6 billion) have already been paid.
jm/cmk (Reuters, dpa)