The Volkswagen Group said today it delivered 541,600 vehicles in April, a fall of 4.7% on the same month last year, but ahead of a market that fell 20%.

With conditions remaining difficult, the Volkswagen brand actually achieved growth in the month, delivering 339,500 passenger cars, a rise of 1.3% year on year.

VW said it had delivered 1.93m vehicles in the first four months of 2009, down 9.6% year on year.

"With our group's attractive model range we have largely been able to buck the trend and are on target with these figures," sales and marketing chief Detlef Wittig said.

In the first four months, the VW brand reported deliveries of 1.22m vehicles, down 3.2%.

"In contrast to the temporary special situation on the German market and the positive trend on the Chinese market, global automotive markets remain very weak and there is no recovery in sight. Nevertheless, we still expect to perform better than the overall market," Wittig added.

The company said April developments in France were particularly pleasing. In a market down 7%, the group delivered 23,800 vehicles, representing a rise of 6.5%, while VW grew deliveries by 16% to 13,200 units.

In Russia, VW grew deliveries by 2.9% to 3,800 units in a market which was down almost 60%.

In Germany, group brands delivered 118,200 vehicles in April, up nearly 20%. VW sold 63,300 vehicles at home, up 24.8%.

The group also pulled ahead of the general market trend in the other major sales regions despite the continuing tense situation. In South America, it delivered 61,800 vehicles in April, down 12.5%, in a market 22% down. In North America, 37,900 vehicles were delivered, down from 42,200. In Asia/Pacific, there was a slight 0.3% upswing last month as the group posted growth of 18.2%, delivering 131,500 vehicles.

China, in particular, showed signs of recovery, where deliveries rose 21.1% to 121,300 units.