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Volkswagen sells record 6.24 million VW vehicles in 2018

Reuters  |  BERLIN 

(Reuters) - sold a record 6.24 million of its VW-branded vehicles last year despite delivery problems caused by new anti-pollution rules, but warned the company would continue to face considerable challenges in 2019.

Still battling to recover from a 2015 emissions test cheating scandal and facing tighter European environmental rules, the German automaker has been trying to boost sales and cut costs to fund an ambitious shift to electric and automated driving.

At the same time, trade disputes with driven by U.S. Donald Trump's 'America First' policies have caused uncertainty in the global auto industry.

"2019 will once again be a year of enormous challenges for the brand, aside from volume growth we will focus even more on our profitability," said.

VW brand sales rose 0.2 percent last year thanks to growth in South America, the and Europe, compensating for a decline in and difficulties registering following the introduction of Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test (WTLP) emissions standards.

The numbers do not include sales under the Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Seat brands, which are also owned by

The VW brand increased market share in in 2018 but its vehicle sales fell 2.1 percent with the world's largest on track for an annual sales contraction not seen since at least 1990.

For the wider region, sales dropped 1.7 percent.

"This decline is mainly due to developments in China, where consumer restraint continues in an uncertain macroeconomic environment," the company said.

Despite rising 3.6 percent for the year, European sales took a hit after stricter anti-pollution rules were introduced in September.

"2018 was marked by significant uncertainty in some regions, especially in the second half," said in a statement, but he added that new products had helped offset that.

The company sold around 50,000 electric and hybrid cars, a 13 percent increase compared with 2017.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Michelle Martin, and Kirsten Donovan)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 16:44 IST