Volkswagen Passenger Cars is claiming a new record: “over 4m vehicles sold in the first three quarters of a year”.

January to September deliveries rose 10.6% year on year to 4.21m units after September sales up 4.3% to 492,500.

“Given the continued difficult conditions on automobile markets in western Europe we remain very vigilant but we are nevertheless optimistic because we are launching our most important vehicle, the new Golf, over the coming weeks. We are very satisfied with over 15,000 advance orders placed so far”, sales and marketing chief Christian Klingler said.

Asia-Pacific sales rose 16.4% from January to September to 1.68m, including China, up 17.2% to 1.52m.

North America sales were up 26.1% to 456,500 units. US sales rose 37.2% to 323,100.

In contrast, Europe sales were flat at 1.3m. There was growth in central and eastern Europe, where deliveries rose 32.1% to 199,800 vehicles.