Volkswagen is like a juggernaut: once it gets going, it doesn’t stop. Despite its core diesel market being taken away and a really bad image in America, the German brand just announced record sales of 1.53 million cars during the first quarter of 2018.

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That’s up 5.9 percent over the same period of 2017. The month of March came with its record: 584,700 units sold or about 5% more.

Officials tell us that America and Europe are to blame, but China still carries Volkswagen on its shoulders. They managed 254,300 units in March and 755,700 (+8.6%) over the first quarter of 2018. So about one in two new Vdubs is sold and probably made in China.

There was unusually high demand for the Jetta, Lavida and Santana models. The highest absolute growth was attributable to the Teramont, otherwise known as the Atlas.

SUVs were the key to success for the U.S. market, with sales up 17.8% to 32,500 units in March 2018. Not surprisingly, VW previewed not one but two models based on the Atlas at the recent New York Auto Show. The new Jetta is about to hit dealerships, so this trend should continue.

Europe went up by 5.6% percent over the first quarter but witnessed a slow-down in March. This could easily be attributed to Germany, the largest single market, where uncertainty looms over the immediate future of diesel engines. People were afraid of buying TDIs last month!

“The Volkswagen brand’s first-quarter delivery results are very encouraging. Thank you to our customers and dealers! We achieved growth in many European markets as well as Germany. The upward trend continued in North and South America. In South America, the successful launch of the Polo and Virtus had a significant impact on the encouraging results, in North America the successful launch of the Tiguan Allspace and the Atlas. In Brazil, we recorded our best quarterly results since 2015 and won further market share,” said Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales.

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