Volkswagen Group says it delivered 1.73m vehicles worldwide during the first quarter – up 25%.

“There are clear signs of a revival on the overall passenger car market in many parts of the world,” said VW group board member for sales,” said Christian Klingler.

“Nevertheless, we still expect this to be a tough year. We believe that differentiated growth in the various regions of the world is likely to continue during the coming months.”

The Volkswagen Group again reported a marked rise in deliveries in China, achieving a new record for first-quarter sales of 457,300, a rise of 61%.

Growth in the Asia-Pacific region was 59%, up 8%. A rise of 13% percent was reported for the whole South America region. 

The Group delivered 80,000 vehicles in the first three months, with the Jetta model range and Audi Q5 selling well.

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The Group brands sold 837,100 vehicles in the overall European market in the first quarter, an increase of 13.5% in Western Europe.

In Germany, the Group brands delivered 254,400 vehicles, up 1.2%.

The Volkswagen core brand again sold 142,200 cars, up 8.5%. Audi, too, grew deliveries to 49,500 units, representing a rise of 3.8%.

“As expected, the German market is beginning to tail off,” said Klinger. “We successfully bucked this trend and, with a market share of 23%, in fact reported the highest first-quarter share for the Volkswagen brand since 1982.”

In the first three months, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand sold 1.11m models, up 27%.

Audi delivered 264,100 vehicles, up 26% – the strongest first-quarter performance in the company’s history. The brand reported double-digit growth for the first three months in all its sales regions of Europe, North and South America, Asia-Pacific and Africa.

In China, the brand delivered 51,400 models, up 77.3%. The new Audi A5 Sportback and A5 Cabriolet models helped stimulate unit sales in the first quarter. 

Škoda delivered 178,900 vehicles, up 25%. The brand also reported very high growth in China, where deliveries ran at 42,700, up 122% and in Western Europe, where 85,200 vehicles were delivered.

The brand also grew deliveries further on its home market of the Czech Republic to 13,300, up 27%. In terms of vehicles, deliveries of the Fabia models tailored for the Chinese market developed well at 7,600 units as did the Octavia with 26,300 models, up 57%.

Seat also grew deliveries. The Spanish brand delivered 88,300 vehicles, up 15% and was particularly successful in Western Europe with 78,500 sold – a rise of 19%.

In its home market of Spain, Seat delivered 26,500 units, up 47%. The Ibiza was the most successful model with deliveries of 46,200 units, up 4.5%.