The automotive manufacturer, which is expected to pay heavy fines for cheating on engine emissions, has delivered a total of 2.5 million vehicles in the first-quarter of 2016, up 0.8% compared to the same period the previous year.

Its own-brands sales were down in almost all regions, overall -2.7% for VW passenger cars, but a good performance in China helped halt the fall.

Vehicle deliveries in the Asia-Pacific region increased 4.3% to 1,045,400 units, of which 955,500 to Chinese customers (+6.4%).

The Group also performed well in Europe delivering 447,600 new vehicles in March 2016, a 2.7% increase compared with the previous year. While developments in Western Europe (+1.9%) were positive, there was a slight decrease in its home market, Germany (-2.5%). Momentum in France, Italy and Spain was particularly strong. According to the Group, Central and Eastern Europe also recorded strong growth (+8.8%), but the continued tense situation in Russia had an impact (-3.3%).

Over 201,500 vehicles were delivered to customers in North America, of which 49,900 units in the U.S (-3.7%), in March. Around 40,000 vehicles were sold in South America in the same month, of which 26,000 delivered in Brazil where the market decline continued as a result of the macroeconomic situation in the country.

Audi and Porsche performed well, delivering 186,100 (+4.6%) and 20,900 (+3.4%) in the first-quarter.