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Volkswagen reported sales of 335,000 passenger cars in April, an increase of 10.3% over a year ago.

The automaker said this exceeded its own expectations of 5.9% growth and also took sales in the first four months of the year to 1.25m cars, an increase of 8.8%.

VW’s largest market was China with 305,100 vehicles delivered (up 21.4%), followed by Germany with deliveries of 172,000 (up 12.8%). The brand’s third largest market was Brazil where sales were up 22.4% to 168,400 units. These three markets account for half of sales worldwide.

“Our model initiative is proving extremely effective and we are moving ahead well. The Passat CC, already available to order, will make its market debut in early June and the new Scirocco comes to market at the end of August. The rollout will be in Germany with other markets to follow. As Europe’s largest automaker our strategy is to offer an unrivalled broad-based and innovative model range of high quality and stable value,” said sales and marketing head Detlef Wittig.

Europe remains the largest market for the brand, with 541,700 vehicles delivered from January to April – an increase of 4.2%. While sales in western Europe rose 2.6% to 488,700 cars, deliveries in central and eastern Europe were up 22.8% to 53,000 units.