The weighty and expensively produced tome pictured below is the VW Group annual report. The 361 pages are packed with information.

How many vehicles did VW Group sell in 2011? 8,361,294, up 14.9 per cent over 2010. How many people does VW Group employ around the world? 501,956, including the Chinese operation.

How much did VW Group spend on research and development in 2011? Around £6bn, or around five per cent of turnover.

Sales increases? Up 22.2 per cent in North America, up 22.4 per cent in Asia-Pacific, up 12.4 per cent in Europe and the rest. Only South America was under performing at just 2.3 per cent up.

I thought you would also like to see the full list of VW car sales. Who’d have guessed the Passat/Santana would be the clear best seller? And who would thought the VW Gol – a South American special – would sell over 500,000 units?

Personally, I’d never heard of VW’s less popular model, the Parati. An internet search uncovered a weird hybrid model that looks like a cross between an 1980s Passat and the Polo breadvan. And is the Phaeton close to out selling the Jaguar XJ?

The VW Group is an extraordinary company, spanning everything from a South American mongrel to the Bugatti Veyron. As the cover says, ‘Experience Diversity’. German industrial might is quite something to behold.