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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Toyota rolls out new Prius to fend off rivals
Tokyo (AFP) May 18, 2009
Toyota Motor on Monday rolled out a cheaper, revamped Prius, seeking to boost its flagging sales and maintain its lead in fuel-sipping hybrids in the face of growing competition from rival Honda. Toyota hopes to sell 10,000 of the third-generation Prius cars a month in Japan, where it has a price tag starting from 2.05 million yen (21,580 dollars), about 12 percent less than the current chea ... read more
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