While not quite the killer 20 percent sales boost enjoyed by BMW-owned Rolls-Royce, VW Group enjoyed a 0.6 percent sales increase overall for 2008. That seems like a scant victory, but for 2008 it's actually pretty fantastic news. Broken down by group, VW worldwide sales were as follows for 2008:
- VW: 3.67 million units, a 0.1 percent increase
- Audi: 1,003,400 units, a healthy 4.1 percent increase and the brand's first year to break one million
- Skoda: 674,500 units, a 7.1 percent increase
- Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: 503,000 units, a 2.9 percent increase
- SEAT: 368,100 units, a 14.6 percent decrease
Elsewhere, VW's uber-luxury brands didn't fare so well, with Bentley sales plummeting 24.1 percent (as powerfully bad as its once-brethren Rolls was good in '08) and Bugatti down 9.9 percent. Lamborghini, however, was a bright note with sales up 1.0 percent.
In the U.S., VW felt the pain of the market disaster, but nonetheless claims to have done well despite tough times. They posted a sales decline of 4.5 percent for 2008, but seem to take heart in a number that's not near as bad as the 18 percent decline experienced overall in U.S. auto sales. And they are still going ahead with plans for their Tennessee assembly plant, to build a mid-size sedan designed especially for the U.S. consumer.