VW Reports Record China Sales

Predicts 30% growth for 2009

Volkswagen said on Oct. 12 it had already surpassed a full-year sales record for China and Hong Kong set in 2008 and predicted growth of more than 30% this year.

VW and its Chinese partners sold 1.06 million cars in China and Hong Kong from January to September, an increase of 37% over the same period last year.

Sales in the world's biggest car market reached nearly 150,000 units in September, marking a single-month record, VW said. Annual sales for 2008 reached 1.02 million cars.

"We surpassed the one million record sales landmark of last year already in middle of September," said Winfried Vahland, president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group China.

VW, which also owns brands including Audi and Skoda, said it may reach its target of selling two million cars annually in China by 2018 "earlier than planned" but did not provide a timeframe.

China's auto sales have roared ahead this year, helped by Beijing's efforts to stimulate domestic consumption. The measures included slashing taxes on cars with engines smaller than 1.6 liters and subsidising alternative-energy vehicles.

General Motors said on Oct. 9 that its sales in China also hit a record high in September. GM and its Chinese partners saw sales rise to 181,148 units in September from 152,365 in August -- a nearly 19% jump, and the latest in a series of single-month records stretching back to January.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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