Volkswagen Group May deliveries rose 1.5 % to 556,700 units. Year to date shipments were down 7% to 2.49m units.

"We have to some extent been able to uncouple ourselves from an overall market that remains very weak thanks to our strong, young product range plus the additional sales advantage that comes from the comparatively high residual value of our used cars. Overall we are benefiting from our strong position in Germany, Brazil and China," sales and marketing chief Detlef Wittig said on Friday.

"However, with the exception of China, global passenger car markets are not showing any signs of recovery. It is not clear whether the markets have hit rock bottom yet," he added.

Volkswagen brand deliveries rose 10.2% last month to 351,000 passenger cars. German sales were up 53.9% to 71,400 and Chinese sales rose almost 47% to 98,900. Year to date sales were flat at 1.57m, however.

Audi deliveries fell 6.1% to 82,800 units in May.