The Volkswagen brand boosted sales 8.4% year on year to 505,900 vehicles in July.

Year to date volume rose 6.5% to 3,624,600 cars.

Sales chief Juergen Stackmann said: "This was the best July in the history of the brand. We are continuing our upward trend and are significantly ahead of the prior-year figure after seven months. With cumulative deliveries of 3.6m vehicles, we have outperformed the Volkswagen brand's previous record for this period. However, the next few months will be more challenging. The changeover to the WLTP test procedure will probably lead to delays in deliveries affecting certain model lines in Europe."

Last month, in Europe, 162,500 vehicles were delivered, up 30.2% Major western European markets such as Italy (+24.4 %), Spain (+51.7 %) and the Netherlands (+164.2%) all saw substantial rises. Western Europe volume itself grew 30% due mainly to many markets' successful programmes for the sale of vehicles type-tested in accordance with NEDC before the entry into force of the WLTP test procedure on 1 September.

German sales were up 32.9% to 53,500 vehicles due to the large number of orders in hand, partly as a result of the environmental incentive which expired at the end of June.

Central and eastern Europe sales rose 31.3% to 26,400 vehicles. In Russia, deliveries rose 19% to 8,600 as a result of high demand for the Polo notchback.

At 50,300 deliveries in North America were flat though, in the US, the SUV offensive again boosted deliveries by 12.7% to 30,500 vehicles. In Mexico, a fall of 25.7% was recorded "as a result of the tense situation on the overall market". 

South America sales rose 18.1% to 41,900 with Brazil up 38.3% to 30,000 vehicles "driven by the product offensive". In Japan, a rise of 17.9% was reported sue to high demand for the Polo and the local Golf special model.

China sales did not match those in July 2017 at 223,500 vehicles. The fall was due to a reduction in customs duties on imported vehicles.