Global sales of Volkswagen brand cars remained stable in January at 419,200, up just 0.1% on the same month last year.

But there were big regional differences, with sales up 30% in North America at 39,600, thanks largely to a 48% hike in the US to 27,200 units. In South America, sales were up 3.2% at 64,400 but in Asia-Pacific they were down 6.9% at 174,700. Sales in India were up 42.2% at 5,800 units.

Sales in Germany were down 8.4% at 39,600 and in the rest of western Europe up 0.8% at 125,500.

In central and eastern Europe VW reported a striking 67% increase to 16,800, with sales in Russia more than doubling to 9,300.