Volkswagen deliveries in the first five months of 2008 rose 6.7% to a record 1.57m vehicles, the company said.

May sales "in a difficult market environment" were off 0.8% to 318,600 vehicles worldwide in a global market down 2.9%, it added. The three highest volume single markets were China, Germany and Brazil.

Despite the earthquake, China sales rose 18.8% to 372,900 vehicles in the first five months.

In Germany, despite high fuel prices and the threat of CO2 taxation, the brand's sales rose 9.2% to 218,400 vehicles. Brazil sales rose 18.7% to 212,300 units.