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by Tim Beissmann

Volkswagen AG is on track to break global sales records in 2010 after selling more than 3.5 million vehicles in the first six months of the year.

Volkswagen AG CEO, Martin Winterkorn, said year-to-date sales of VW Group vehicles – which includes Audi, Bentley, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen – were up by about 15 percent compared with 2009.

VW brand sales have so far dominated with more than two million sold around the world in the past six months.

Mr Winterkorn said any record sales result would be hard earned by his team in the latter half of 2010.

“This will not be achieved easily. Especially in Germany, business will become significantly harder in the second half of the year,” he said.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen AG is expanding production in India and Mexico, yesterday announcing it will begin manufacturing the Audi Q5 in its Aurangabad plant in the subcontinent.

Q5 will join A4 and A6, boosting annual production to 2400 and eventually as high as 6000 by 2015. This represents a significant increase from the 2000 vehicles produced in the factory over the past three years since the start of production in 2007.

Volkswagen also opened the expansion of its Puebla plant in Mexico earlier in the week.

The restructured plant will have a capacity of more than 500,000 vehicles per year and will be the production hub for the all-new VW Beetle when assembly starts in 2011.

VW is still yet to announce a site for a new powertrain plant in North America but is widely expected to set it up close to Puebla.

VW’s investment in the new plant could be as much as $US1 billion ($1.2 billion) by the time production starts, estimated to be in 2013.




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