DETROIT -- The Volkswagen Group exceeded 7 million in global sales for the first time in 2010, fueled by strong growth in China.
“We have gained market share in all markets with the exception of South America, which is due to the entry of new competitors like Hyundai,” Christian Klingler, VW group board member for sales, said during a roundtable discussion here at the Detroit auto show today.
Worldwide, VW sold 7.14 million vehicles last year, a 13.5 percent increase over 6.29 million in 2009, according to a company release. The VW brand also set a record, growing 13.9 percent to 4.5 million unit sales in 2010. Chinese sales for the brand rose 35.5 percent to 1.51 million units.
The VW group’s Audi and Skoda brands were also up, gaining 15 and 11.5 percent, respectively.
In the U.S., where it hopes to sell 800,000 units by 2018, VW group sales were up by 21 percent to 360,000 units.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn has a publicly stated goal of surpassing Toyota Motor Corp. in sales and profitability by 2018, and thus becoming the world’s No. 1 automaker.