Volkswagen's US sales have surged thanks to strong sales of Passat and Jetta models

Volkswagen sales in America were up 40 per cent year-on-year last month, off the back of increased Volkswagen Passat and Volkswagen Jetta sales. VW has aggressive expansion plans in the US, aiming to triple sales to 800,000 cars a year by 2018, as part of its quest to become the world's largest car maker.

The Chattanooga-built US market Passat went on sale in September and costs from around £13,000. It has been tailored to the US market and sits on an extended version of the European car's platform, which makes it 100mm longer, 13mm wider and therefore more spacious. Every body panel is different and it has a bespoke interior.

More than 5000 Passats were sold in September - the car's first full month on sale. It sold 12,000 old spec Passats in the whole of 2011.

Sales of the VW Jetta, which was launched last year and which has less sophisticated suspension than the European version, as well as a different engine line-up and minor cosmetic tweaks, are currently up 62 per cent year-on-year.

Audi's US sales were also up more than 20 per cent year-on-year in October, topping 10,000 cars.

Brit-born VW USA boss Jonathan Browning has previously talked of expanding the VW range up and down in the States, with a seven-seat SUV and Polo-based supermini under consideration.

Jim Holder

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