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Volkswagen Says Deliveries Through May Rise 7.6% From Last Year

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest automaker by sales, said Thursday that deliveries of new cars in the first five months of 2007 were up 7.6% from last year, with 2.5 million sold amid rising demand in Europe and Asia.

The Wolfsburg-based company said sales of its VW-branded cars rose 7.1% to 1.5 million from January to May, while commercial vehicle sales rose 9% to 191,000 sold.

The company's Skoda brand reported a 14% increase in deliveries to 255,000, while sales of its luxury Audi unit were up 9.6% with 420,000 models sold.

But sales by its Spanish unit, Seat, posted a 1.6 decline from the first five months of 2006, with just 180,000 cars sold.

Sales growth was strong in Europe, where deliveries rose 2.9%, with 1.58 million vehicles sold, and in Asia, where sales rose 20% from last year, with 414,000 cars sold.

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

Shares of Volkswagen were down nearly 1% to 114.19 euros ($153.32) in Frankfurt trading.

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