Volkswagen Group June 2019 sales rose 1.6% year on year to 974,400 vehicles, driven by China where volume rose 15%.

The automaker said this was due to the new China emissions standard C6 which applied from 1 July so customers brought purchases forward to June.

There had been similar effects in Europe in June 2018. Deliveries in that region had reached a high level as a result of WLTP a year ago so, as expected, there was a fall (4.8%).

North America deliveries fell 0.5, South America was down 0.1%.

Groups sales head Christian Dahlheim said: "In June, the brands of the Volkswagen Group achieved good performance and boosted deliveries in overall markets that continued to shrink. In China, we benefited especially strongly from the positive impetus given by the changeover in emissions standards. It remains to be seen whether this will lead to a general turnaround there. All in all, we can look back on a successful first half of the year: the group has maintained its position in a challenging market environment and expanded its global market share."

Overall Europe volume, down 4.8% to 435,000 vehicles, was reflected in western Europe where the drop was almost the same: 4.7% to 364,000. German sales were flat at 130,700. Central and eastern Europe sales fell 5.3% to 71,000.

Russia bucked the trend with sales up 2.7% to 19,900 vehicles.

North America results were mixed. Region deliveries fell 0.5% to 80,700 vehicles but were up 5.9% to 56,700 in the US but down in Canada by 19.7% to 9,300 and off 7.8% to 14,700 in Mexico though market share rose.

South America sales fell 0.1% to 48,600 vehicles but Brazil volume was up 14.8% to 38,200, almost enough to compensate for basket case Argentina (VW says the "overall economic environment remained challenging") where sales plunged 48.6% to 5,100.

Asia-Pacific region sales rose 11.7% to 381,400 vehicles due to a 1 July change of emissions standard in China (which also affected Mercedes sales) as buyers brought purchases forward. China volume consequently rose 15% to 354,800 vehicles.