Wires

VW has slowest brand sales gain in 8 months

* VW brand sales up 4.3 pct y/o/y in Sept to 492,500 autos

* Smallest increase since 0.1 pct in January

* VW 9-month group sales up 10.6 pct to 6.8 mln cars

BERLIN, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The downturn in European automarkets has slowed delivery growth of Volkswagen AGbrand vehicles to the slowest pace in eight months, companyfigures showed on Tuesday.

Deliveries to customers by VW's namesake brand rose 4.3percent to 492,500 vehicles in September compared with the yearbefore, the smallest increase since January's gain of 0.1percent, Europe's dominant car manufacturer said.

"There's no letup in the European auto slump and VW can'textricate itself from the crisis," said Frankfurt-basedCommerzbank analyst Sascha Gommel.

VW, which has outperformed its home region this year, haltedproduction in Germany of its Passat model for two days last weekas part of a wider move to cut group output targets for 2012 byabout 300,000 vehicles, company sources said.

The global production target for the VW group, which alsoincludes other marques such as Audi, has been cut to 9.4 millioncars this year, up on last year's output of 8.5 million butshort of the goal originally set for this year of about 9.7million, the sources said on Oct. 5.

"We remain very vigilant given the continued difficultconditions in western European auto markets," VW sales chiefChristian Klingler said in a statement published on Tuesday.

VW expects to sell up to 140,000 fewer vehicles this yearthan originally expected across its multi-brand group, workscouncil spokesman Joerg Koether said on Oct. 5, confirmingremarks by works council chief Bernd Osterloh published inHandelsblatt.

VW's nine-month group sales increased 10.6 percent to 6.802million vehicles, the company said on Monday in an onlinepresentation. Detailed group sales data are due to be publishedon Oct. 12.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by David Holmes)

((Andreas.Cremer@thomsonreuters.com)(+49-30-2888-5084))

Keywords: VOLKSWAGEN SALES/