Volkswagen Group says it delivered 1.73m vehicles worldwide during the first quarter - up 25%.

"There are clear signs of a revival on the overall passenger car market in many parts of the world," said VW group board member for sales," said Christian Klingler.

"Nevertheless, we still expect this to be a tough year. We believe that differentiated growth in the various regions of the world is likely to continue during the coming months."

The Volkswagen Group again reported a marked rise in deliveries in China, achieving a new record for first-quarter sales of 457,300, a rise of 61%.

Growth in the Asia-Pacific region was 59%, up 8%. A rise of 13% percent was reported for the whole South America region. 

The Group delivered 80,000 vehicles in the first three months, with the Jetta model range and Audi Q5 selling well.

The Group brands sold 837,100 vehicles in the overall European market in the first quarter, an increase of 13.5% in Western Europe.

In Germany, the Group brands delivered 254,400 vehicles, up 1.2%.

The Volkswagen core brand again sold 142,200 cars, up 8.5%. Audi, too, grew deliveries to 49,500 units, representing a rise of 3.8%.

"As expected, the German market is beginning to tail off," said Klinger. "We successfully bucked this trend and, with a market share of 23%, in fact reported the highest first-quarter share for the Volkswagen brand since 1982."

In the first three months, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand sold 1.11m models, up 27%.

Audi delivered 264,100 vehicles, up 26% - the strongest first-quarter performance in the company's history. The brand reported double-digit growth for the first three months in all its sales regions of Europe, North and South America, Asia-Pacific and Africa.


In China, the brand delivered 51,400 models, up 77.3%. The new Audi A5 Sportback and A5 Cabriolet models helped stimulate unit sales in the first quarter. 

Škoda delivered 178,900 vehicles, up 25%. The brand also reported very high growth in China, where deliveries ran at 42,700, up 122% and in Western Europe, where 85,200 vehicles were delivered.

The brand also grew deliveries further on its home market of the Czech Republic to 13,300, up 27%. In terms of vehicles, deliveries of the Fabia models tailored for the Chinese market developed well at 7,600 units as did the Octavia with 26,300 models, up 57%.

Seat also grew deliveries. The Spanish brand delivered 88,300 vehicles, up 15% and was particularly successful in Western Europe with 78,500 sold - a rise of 19%.

In its home market of Spain, Seat delivered 26,500 units, up 47%. The Ibiza was the most successful model with deliveries of 46,200 units, up 4.5%.