German car maker Volkswagen Group achieved record deliveries last year, in part because sales to India more than doubled.
Totaling 8.16 million, the group's car sales last year rocketed 14.3 percent above 2010 figures, which places the auto group above Toyota. The Japanese car maker's production and subsequent sales suffered from the tsunami that struck the island nation in March and crippled their operations.
All Group brands reported further gains under difficult conditions on volatile markets. This outstanding result is clearly a team achievement, the Group Board Member for Sales, Christian Klingler, said. However, a very challenging year lies ahead. The risks on European markets in particular will multiply in 2012.
Leading the company's record setting car sales was Asia, where deliveries grew across the board in the region. India's car deliveries saw the most growth, and the group's sales rose to 111,600 from 53,300 .
In North America, car deliveries rose by 23.3 percent with more than 440,000 car deliveries.
The new year could also be starting on a high point for the company following increased sales in December, when the auto group delivered 650,000 cars worldwide, a 19.1 increase over the same time the year before.
The group may not be on the top for very long. General Motors' car sales are expected to reach nine million, following sales that topped six million in the first three quarters of 2011, the Huffington Post reported.
With a new plant inaugurated in May, the company has company has high expectations for North American sales.
President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Jonathan Browning, told journalists this week at the Detroit Auto Show that 2012 will be a turnaround year for the company in the U.S.
We need to be a top player in the U.S., Volkswagen AG President Martin Winterkorn.
This year the automaker's Passat was a finalist for the coveted North American Car of the Year Award, but it lost to the Hyundai Elantra.