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Volkswagen says sales rose 7.6 per cent through May

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest automaker by sales, said Thursday that its new car sales rose 7.6 per cent in the first five months of the year to 2.5 million amid rising demand in Europe and Asia.

The Wolfsburg-based company said sales of its VW-branded cars rose 7.1 per cent to 1.5 million in the January-May period versus a year ago, while commercial vehicle sales rose nine per cent to 191,000.

The company's Skoda brand reported a 14 per cent increase in sales to 255,000, while sales of its luxury Audi AG unit rose 9.6 per cent with 420,000 models sold.

But sales by its Spanish unit, Seat, fell 1.6 per cent to 180,000 from the first five months of 2006.

Sales growth was strong in Europe, where sales rose 2.9 per cent to 1.58 million vehicles, and in Asia, where sales rose 20 per cent to 414,000 cars.

Sales in South America and South Africa also showed gains, with deliveries up 24 per cent, while in North America, the VW and Audi brands saw a 1.8 per cent increase with 215,000 cars sold.

Shares of Volkswagen slipped 1.7 per cent to 113.25 euros ($152.05) Thursday in Frankfurt.


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Volkswagen says sales rose 7.6 per cent through May
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