* VW brand sales up 4.3 pct y/o/y in Sept to 492,500 autos
* Smallest increase since 0.1 pct in January
* VW 9-month group sales up 10.6 pct to 6.8 mln cars
BERLIN, Oct 9 The downturn in European auto
markets has slowed delivery growth of Volkswagen AG
brand vehicles to the slowest pace in eight months, company
figures showed on Tuesday.
Deliveries to customers by VW's namesake brand rose 4.3
percent to 492,500 vehicles in September compared with the year
before, the smallest increase since January's gain of 0.1
percent, Europe's dominant car manufacturer said.
"There's no letup in the European auto slump and VW can't
extricate itself from the crisis," said Frankfurt-based
Commerzbank analyst Sascha Gommel.
VW, which has outperformed its home region this year, halted
production in Germany of its Passat model for two days last week
as part of a wider move to cut group output targets for 2012 by
about 300,000 vehicles, company sources said.
The global production target for the VW group, which also
includes other marques such as Audi, has been cut to 9.4 million
cars this year, up on last year's output of 8.5 million but
short of the goal originally set for this year of about 9.7
million, the sources said on Oct. 5.
"We remain very vigilant given the continued difficult
conditions in western European auto markets," VW sales chief
Christian Klingler said in a statement published on Tuesday.
VW expects to sell up to 140,000 fewer vehicles this year
than originally expected across its multi-brand group, works
council spokesman Joerg Koether said on Oct. 5, confirming
remarks by works council chief Bernd Osterloh published in
VW's nine-month group sales increased 10.6 percent to 6.802
million vehicles, the company said on Monday in an online
presentation. Detailed group sales data are due to be published
on Oct. 12.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by David Holmes)