Volkswagen Group has announced a 9.3% increases in vehicle sales in 2006, with a total of 5.73m vehicles sold worldwide.

Growth was particularly strong at the Volkswagen brand, with sales up 10%, to 3.39m vehicles, a record level, while Audi continued its long-term growth path, with sales up 9.2% to 905,000 vehicles worldwide. Clearly, Audi is positioned to breach the million unit mark by 2008.

Of the four major brands, Skoda exhibited the strongest year-on-year growth of 11.7% with worldwide sales of 550,000 vehicles. Most of this growth came from central & eastern Europe where sales were up 14% to 212,000 vehicles. Struggling Seat managed to reverse a downward sales trend and record growth of 1.9% to 430,000 vehicles.

3.11m group vehicles were sold in western Europe, up 5.8% on a year ago. The group's largest national market was Germany where 1.11m vehicles were sold, followed by China where it sold 711,000 vehicles (+24.3%).

High growth was also recorded in the South America/South Africa region, with vehicle sales up 14.9% to 683,000 units. In Brazil in particular, there was a strong rise of 15.1% to 441,000 vehicles. In the USA, the turnaround begun in 2005 continued as the group delivered 330,000 vehicles to customers, representing an increase of 5.9%.