Volkswagen sells record 5.1 million cars worldwide in 2011

Volkswagen AG (VW), Europe's biggest carmaker, yesterday announced that it has sold a record 5.1 million cars worldwide in 2011, with Europe and China being its biggest markets.

The Wolfsburg-based carmaker said that growth was fuelled by gains in China, the US, Russia and India, but cautioned that the market environment would remain ''challenging'' in 2012.

VW sold 5.1 million passenger cars worldwide in 2011, a rise of 13.1 per cent on the previous year, with Europe and China being the biggest markets, having sold 1.72 million cars in each.

VW sold over 324,400 vehicles in the US, a 26.3 per cent rise over last year, and 118,000 in Russia, a surge of 100.4 per cent. The carmaker also did well in India, where the brand reported a very substantial rise of 151 per cent, having sold 76,100 units.

VW passenger cars recorded a 16.6 per cent overall increase in sales in the Asia-Pacific region last year to 1.93 million vehicles. In North America, VW sold 496,700 cars, a rise of 22.2 per cent, while it sold 772,800 units in South America, an increase of 2.2 per cent.

There was also a generally positive trend in sales in Europe, where the VW brand sold over 1.72 million vehicles, an increase of 11.2 per cent, thus clearly outpacing the overall market by 3.6 per cent.