Volkswagen says January-July sales set a record

Automaker Volkswagen said Friday that its global sales last month were on a par with last year's, and sales worldwide from January to July reached a new record.

Europe's biggest automaker by sales said it sold 521,000 cars last month, the same as a year ago.

But for the January-July period, the company said it sold nearly 3.8 million cars, up 5% from last year, with strong demand from China where 607,500 cars were sold, a record increase of 19.3%.

Demand was also on the rise the first seven months in Brazil, with 378,300 cars sold, up 22.2% from last year; and in central and eastern Europe, where sales rose 19.6% to 333,100.

In Europe, sales were up less than 1% with nearly 2.2 million cars sold. The company did not break down its sales in North America, where it plans to build a new plant in Tennessee.

Volkswagen's brands include Audi, Skoda, Seat, Bentley and Bugatti, as well as VW.