China Boosts Volkswagen's Flagging Car Sales

China sales showed 21% increase

Volkswagen said on May 18 it had bucked the global trend of sharply lower car sales due to a buoyant market for its autos in China and its home market Germany.

While global sales figures for April were down 4.7% compared to the same period last year, the wider market plunged 21%, the company said.

Volkswagen's relative success was due primarily to what the firm described as a "positive trend" in China where deliveries powered ahead 21.1%.

A scheme introduced by the German government allowing consumers to trade in old vehicles for a discount on a new car has also helped VW sales in Germany which rose 19.9% in April.

Nevertheless, VW general manager Detlef Wittig warned that the global car market was still in the doldrums with little to be optimistic about. "Worldwide car markets are still extremely weak and a recovery is not in sight," Wittig said.

In total, VW sold 541,600 cars in April, compared to 568,100 in April 2008.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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