Sales in China by Volkswagen and its joint ventures rose 15.6% in the first quarter from a year earlier, due to strong demand for its Audi and Volkswagen brands. Sales in China, Hong Kong and Macau by Volkswagen Group China and its joint ventures totaled 633,800 cars in the first three months of the year, Volkswagen said in a statement Friday. Volkswagen-brand car sales rose 12.5% to 483.400 vehicles.
Growth was particularly strong for the company’s higher-end brands: Sales of Audi-brand vehicles rose more than 40% to 90,000 vehicles, and Bentley sales rose 84% to 555 cars, the statement said.
The increases come despite weaker sales overall in the Chinese auto market as economic growth has slowed. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Wednesday passenger car sales fell 1.3% in the first quarter to 3.77 million vehicles.
Volkswagen operates two joint ventures in China: Shanghai Volkswagen, together with SAIC Motor Corp. and FAW-Volkswagen, together with FAW Group Corp.