Volkswagen sales in China and Hong Kong jumped 22.7% year on year in the first half of 2009, benefiting from a revival in the world’s third-biggest economy.

Volkswagen and its two China joint ventures sold a record 652,222 units, including 538,969 Volkswagen-branded vehicles during the January-June period, the company told Reuters.

“China is currently a spotlight in the international automotive market,” Volkswagen China President Winfried Vahland said in a statement.

“The increase of our deliveries to customers has been in line with the market growth in China, which benefited from the effectiveness and the success of the Chinese government’s automotive incentive policy.”

Volkswagen said on Monday it would start building the new Golf this year in China as the other two brands made in the country – Audi and Skoda – achieved record sales during the first half.

Audi sales rose 11% from a year earlier to 66,866 units, while Skoda sales jumped 46.2% to 46,144.

Volkswagen also said it would make two SUV models in China by the end of 2009, with its factories in eastern Nanjing and western Chengdu supporting the China expansion.