Volkswagen sales speed to fresh record

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The boss of Volkswagen said he was grateful to customers “for their trust” as the car firm announced today it delivered a record number of vehicles for 2017.

The German group, incorporating the likes of Porsche, Audi, Skoda and VW, was rocked by a diesel emissions scandal in 2015, but reported today that sales for last year rose 4.3 per cent to 10.74m units.

Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Muller said: “We are grateful to our customers for the trust these figures reflect. We will continue to do everything we can in 2018 to meet and exceed the expectations of customers all over the world.”

Read more: Volkswagen agrees to pay at least $1.2bn to US vehicle owners

Deliveries in December surged by 8.5 per cent to near 1m units.

Across Europe, Volkswagen provided customers with 4.3m vehicles for the year – up 3.3 per cent on 2016. Deliveries across North America meanwhile increased by four per cent to 976,400 units, and in the Asia-Pacific region up 4.3 per cent to 4.5m.

“We are making decisive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, using funds from our own resources: in e-mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalisation,” Muller added. “At the same time, we continue to systematically develop present technologies and vehicles. The excellent delivery figures confirm that this is the right approach.”

In 2015, it was discovered that cars manufactured by VW had been equipped with software to evade tests, with around 1.2m cars in the UK affected, and 11m worldwide. It has since shelled out on compensation and fines in the fallout.

Its strong sales showing however, indicate the reputational hit from the troubles has not had a lasting effect among consumers.

Thousands of motorists have teamed up in a class action lawsuit against VW in England and Wales though, saying cars with engines fitted with so-called defeat devices should not have been certified fit for sale, as they produced higher levels of nitrogen oxide emissions than the rules allowed.

Volkswagen Group UK however, has said that only “a very small number of customers have expressed interest in taking legal action against us in England”. The car giant said that the vast majority of customers affected were satisfied with the actions it is taking.

Read more: Nearly 45,000 UK drivers gear up for VW court action this month

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