VWs Kaluga Plant. VW brand car sales in Russia were down a whopping 28% year-on-year in January.

VW's Kaluga Plant. VW brand car sales in Russia were down a whopping 28% year-on-year in January.

Global Volkswagen brand sales slipped 2.8% in January and its sales chief admitted the brand faces a challenging year due to market uncertainties around the world.

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered 507,100 (January 2014: 521,600) vehicles to customers worldwide in the first month of this year, 2.8% down on the same month of the prior year.

"Deliveries by the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand show we are facing a challenging year. Volkswagen was not immune to the uncertainties in some regions that have continued into the current year," said Christian Klingler, Board Member for Sales and Marketing for the Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand.

Developments in the global delivery situation in the first month of the year were mixed, but the signals from markets around the world are not exactly enouraging. Europe was down for VW cars slightly and there was a sharp drop in Russia. North America was up (but US flat) and Asia-Pac sales were down slightly and China has clearly dropped off now. South America saw a worryingly large drop in January.

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand sold over 124,900 (2014: 126,100; -1.0%) vehicles to customers in Europe in January. Compared with the same month of the prior year, 66,100 (2014: 66,200; -0.1%) units were delivered in Western Europe (excluding Germany). The company handed over 42,900 (2014: 41,400; +3.4 %) vehicles in Germany. Some 15,900 (2014: 18,500; -14.2 %) customers took possession of a new Volkswagen in Central and Eastern Europe in January, of which 6,200 (2014: 8,600; -28.3 %) units were delivered in Russia.

The brand delivered 282,000 (2014: 285,300; -1.2 %) vehicles in the Asia-Pacific region in January, of which 265,900 (2014: 267,800; -0.7 %) were handed over to customers in China (incl. Hong Kong). In contrast, deliveries in the North America region grew to 41,800 (2014: 39,700; +5.3 %). Volkswagen handed over 23,500 vehicles to customers in the United States, matching the figure for January of last year.

Volkswagen Passenger Cars delivered 45,200 (2014: 55,200; -18.1 %) units in the South America region, of which 34,200 (2014: 40,300; -15.2 %) were handed over to customers in Brazil.