Volkswagen AG (Frankfurt: VOW) reported on Wednesday July U.S. car sales rose 2.3 percent, the company's best July U.S. sales since 1973 during the hey-day of the VW Bus.

Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW sold 37,014 cars in July, a 27.3 percent increase year-over-year. Likewise, year-to-date sales are up 34.1 percent. The company has reported double-digit U.S. sales growth throughout 2012.

The Volkswagen Jetta continued as the company's most popular vehicles with 13,629 vehicles sold in July despite a 13.3 percent decline in sales of the model. The Passat was close behind with 9,007 units sold, an increase of 661.4 percent over the year before. Sales of the redesigned Beetle began to take off with 2,839 units sold and wacky marketing ploys like a "Volkswagen Beetle Shark Observation Cage" for Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" in the works.

Sales grew substantially for VW's larger SUV and crossover vehicles. Sales of the Tiguan rose 41.8 percent, while the Touareg gained 41.8 percent. Sales of the VW Routan fell 31.9 percent.

VW sales have benefitted from positive endorsements by J.D. Power and Associates and Motor Trend which designated the Passat the 2012 Car of the Year.

Volkswagen AG (Frankfurt: VOW) shares rose 0.51 percent to €129.45 ($159.15) Wednesday.