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Worldwide deliveries were up to 9.07 million vehicles, surpassing the 9 million mark in a twelve-month period for the first time, compared with 8.16 million in January-December 2011.

Figures were up because of a strong performance in the Americas, with deliveries in North America up by 26.2% year-on-year to 841,500 units, of which 596,100 went to the USA.

In South America, the group delivered 1.01 million vehicles to consumers, a rise of 8.2% year-on-year. Brazil took 780,200 cars from this total.

Deliveries in the Asia-Pacific region rose by 23.3% year-on-year to a record 3.17 million units, of which 2.81 million vehicles went to China.

Deliveries in India were up by 2.1% year-on-year to 114,100 vehicles.

But total European deliveries in 2012 were down by 0.3% year-on-year to 3.67 million units. The total for Western Europe, excluding Germany, fell by 6.5% to 1.85 million vehicles due to the economic situation in southern European markets.

Domestic German deliveries were up by 1.9% year-on-year to 1.18 million cars, while in Central and Eastern Europe 644,300 units were handed over, 317,700 of them in Russia.

Volkswagen said that, despite the overall good performance, the company still faced challenges in 2013.

“We are keeping a vigilant eye on the future, because the present uncertainties will intensify this year, particularly in Western Europe,” group board member for sales Christian Klingler said.

Among the carmaker’s brands, Volkswagen passenger car deliveries showed the strongest increase, up by 12.7% year-on-year to 5.74 million vehicles. Audi sales came second, showing a rise of 11.7% year-on-year to 1.46 million.