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Volkswagen says that more than 42,000 of its heavy trucks and buses were sold in the first quarter of 2016, up 6% on last year and helped by a 24% surge to sales in Western Europe.

Since May 2015, the activities of MAN Truck & Bus, MAN Latin America — which generates the major part of its sales under the brand Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus — and Scania are bundled under the roof of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH. In the first quarter of 2016, MAN Truck & Bus sold 18,940 units (+17%), MAN Latin America sold 4,670 units (-23%), and Scania 18,440 units (+5%).

Volkswagen Truck & Bus’s beginning of the year was particularly successful in the truck business. With 38,640 units sold, truck sales were up 7% compared with the same quarter last year. The development of the regions varied: sales in Western Europe increased by 24%. The UK, France, and Germany were strong, VW said. Unit sales also increased in Central and Eastern Europe, buoyed especially by the positive trend in Poland.

However, South America “continued to be a challenge”. VW said the situation still remains “exceptionally strained” in Brazil. Due to the market climate, truck sales there declined by 23% in the first three months.

Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH and Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, is optimistic: “Our start in 2016 has been a great success — both in terms of building our business and in demand for our products. Particularly in Europe, orders for trucks are on the rise again. However, Brazil still remains a challenge: the market there has virtually ground to a halt. However, I am confident that we will see improvements there in the medium term, too. Our strong position there will be a major advantage and contribute significantly on our way to becoming global champion. Even in difficult times, we stand fully behind this key market of the future.”

MAN Latin America responded to the difficult situation with further cuts. Nevertheless, there were silver linings, too, VW said. Mexico posted a significant increase compared with the same quarter last year. Unit sales for vehicles in Angola, to where Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus exports vehicles, were also on the rise. 

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By GlobalData