Volkswagen Group sales of 6.29m vehicles last year were up just 1.1% year on year but set a new record nonetheless. Global market rose to 11.4% from 10.3%.

But sales and marketing chief said 2010 would be another challenging year. "There are no signs of a sustained recovery on the global automotive market. Emerging markets such as China and Brazil will, however, show an upward trend. Given our strong presence on these markets we intend to participate in the anticipated slight revival of the world market."

In China, deliveries rose 36.7% to 1.4m million units. German sales of 1.24m were up 1.06% and Brazilian volume rose 8.7% to 688,300 units.

Asia/Pacific deliveries rose 32.1% to to 1.55m vehicles. South American sales were up 2.2% to 815,100.

In a European market off about 11%, VW sales slipped 7.1% to 3.28m. North American deliveries were down 7.1% to 467,500 units but the total market shrank over 20%.