Volkswagen CEO Dr Martin Winterkorn may have described the all-new Volkswagen Golf as the brand's most important vehicle at is unveiling in Berlin on Wednesday, but, somewhat surprisingly, it is the larger Volkswagen Passat that is the manufacturer's top seller around the world.

Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen sold 900,000 Golfs in 2011 compared with 1.5 million Passats, and while the gap is expected to narrow considerably with the arrival of the new Golf Mk7, it is, still unlikely to match the demand for Passat.

Developing markets such as China, Russia and the Middle East, where there is a clear preference for sedans over hatches, are fueling the demand for the larger Passat.

Oddly enough, though, China is now the second largest market for Golf, but it’s actually the Golf Mk4 (1997 model) that is produced and sold there.

The new Volkswagen Golf, which is crucial to the company’s goal of becoming the world’s biggest car manufacturer by 2018, will be built at Wolfsburg in Germany for most of the world’s markets. China and Brazil will continue to produce the Golf Mk4 for their domestic markets.

The Volkswagen Golf Mk7 will go on sale in Australia in the second quarter of 2013.