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China boosts Volkswagen's flagging car sales

by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) May 18, 2009
Europe's biggest carmaker Volkswagen said on Monday it had bucked the global trend of sharply lower car sales due to a buoyant market for its autos in China and its home market Germany.

While global sales figures for April were down 4.7 percent compared to the same period last year, the wider market plunged 21 percent, the company said.

Volkswagen's relative success was due primarily to what the firm described as a "positive trend" in China where deliveries powered ahead 21.1 percent.

A scheme introduced by the German government allowing consumers to trade in old vehicles for a discount on a new car has also helped VW sales in Germany which rose 19.9 percent in April.

Nevertheless, VW general manager Detlef Wittig warned that the global car market was still in the doldrums with little to be optimistic about.

"Worldwide car markets are still extremely weak and a recovery is not in sight," Wittig said in a statement.

In total, VW sold 541,600 cars in April, compared to 568,100 in April 2008.

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