Europe's biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, has said sales of the 12-brand group have increased in the new year. It said more cars were sold in Europe, adding to signs of a continuing post-crisis recovery there.
Germany's VW reported February 14 it sold 798,100 cars in January, marking a 6.5-percent rise from the same month a year earlier.
The group said it was particularly gratifying to see that sales had also increased in Europe again after a long slump amid a protracted debt crisis.
"Especially Western Europe seems to have turned the corner," VW sales chief Christian Klingler said in a statement. In Germany alone, the Wolfsburg-based firm delivered 11.6 percent more units than in January 2013.
Volkswagen was even more successful in the world's biggest car market, as sales in China surged by 11.6 percent year-on-year. By contrast, 13.4 percent fewer units left the showrooms in the US, with VW continuing to have problems attracting local clients to its Passat model designed for the regional market.
The January figures did not include sales by VW's two truck subsidiaries, MAN and Scania.
Also on Friday, the company announced it would turn a further 1,100 temporary workers into permanent staff at several production facilities across Germany, adding the firm had given 7,700 temporary employees permanent contracts in the past four years.
"That's something you shouldn't take for granted," Works Council chief Bernd Osterloh commented. "In many other companies, temporary workers hardly stand a chance of finding permanent employment."
hg/jm (Reuters, dpa)