VW, Daimler Post Stellar 2010 Auto Sales

Sales topped 4.5 million for the first time ever, an increase of 13.9% from 2009.

With emerging markets such as China seeing voracious demand for Mercedes-Benz, Audi and VW vehicles, Daimler and Volkswagen posted stellar 2010 sales figures on Jan. 7. Sales topped 4.5 million for the first time ever, an increase of 13.9% from 2009.

The group, which aims to be the world's leading car manufacturer by 2018, turned in "an excellent performance in a difficult market environment and significantly strengthened its competitive position," said sales director Christian Klingler.

In China, more than 1.51 million VW brand cars were delivered last year, up 35.5%.

Strong increases were also reported in India, Russia and North America, along with a more modest gain in South America and a slight decline in Europe.

VW's luxury brand Audi posted record sales of more than 1.09 million vehicles, thanks in large part to a jump of 43% in China.

Deliveries there of 228,000 vehicles were only just shy of Audi sales in Germany, at 229,000.

Daimler had a similar story to tell as it posted a 15% increase in 2010 sales of its Mercedes-Benz brand cars to almost 1.17 million.

The last three months of the year were "the best quarter in the company's history" with 313,700 deliveries, a gain of 14 percent from the same period a year earlier, a Daimler statement said. "Mercedes-Benz set new sales records every month in its third-largest single market, Chi."

Brazil, Russia, South Korea and Turkey turned in gains ranging from 27% to 86% as German brands got a big boost from the global economic recovery.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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