The Volkswagen brand began the year with a marked rise in deliveries, handing over 418,800 vehicles to customers worldwide in January, an increase of 16.5% on the 359,400 in the same month last year.

Christian Klingler, VW Cars sales chief, put the success down to “Our young and environmentally friendly model range which is exactly what customers all over the world are looking for.”

In South America VW reported a 16.1% increase to 62,400 vehicles during the month and fared even better in Asia Pacific with a 31.5% increase to 187,700 units.

In India, the VW brand saw a tenfold rise in deliveries to 4,000 units and it also reported increases in central and eastern Europe, up 32.3% to 10,100 vehicles. In Russia sales rose 91.5% from 2,200 a year ago to 4,300.

In western Europe sales remained largely stable with the brand delivering 124,600 vehicles, up 1.2% over January last year and in North America deliveries totalled 30,400,up 4.2%.