* Aug sales up 0.1 pct, weakest month in at least 2.5 yrs
* VW reaffirms goal to increase full-year sales
* Six main car brands may post almost 11 mln 2018 sales
BERLIN, Sept 13 Volkswagen's global
car sales were almost flat in August and the German automaker
pointed to difficult conditions in Europe, one of its core
Global deliveries rose just 0.1 percent last month to
720,400 cars, which compared with a rise of 3.2 percent in July.
This makes August the weakest sales month in at least 2.5 years
for the German company, which also includes luxury division Audi
and sports-car maker Porsche.
The slowdown partly reflected the impact of a big hailstorm
in July, which damaged up to 17,000 new cars at VW's Wolfsburg
base. Deliveries had to be delayed while the cars were repaired.
Global sales in the eight months to August were up 4.5
percent to 6.17 million. In Europe, sales dropped 3.3 percent in
the year-to-date period.
"Despite difficult conditions we still expect 2013
deliveries to exceed year-ago levels," sales chief Christian
Europe's largest auto manufacturer, which has a goal to
overtake Toyota and General Motors to snatch the
world's sales crown no later than 2018, aims to boost sales to
9.5 million cars this year, up from 9.3 million in 2012.
Global deliveries of the group's six car divisions - VW's
namesake brand, Skoda, Seat, Audi, Porsche and Bentley - may
grow to almost 11 million autos by 2018, finance chief Hans
Dieter Poetsch said in a presentation to investors at the
Frankfurt motor show on Sept. 9.
VW has so far been saying that group deliveries, also
including truckmakers MAN and Scania as well as commercial
vehicles and ultra-luxury brands Lamborghini and Bugatti, might
exceed 10 million by 2018.