Even with the US automotive market beginning to contract and with the continued fallout from the marque's role in falsifying data regarding its diesel-powered cars' efficiency and emissions, the VW group on Monday announced that for the very first time in a single month its combined sales have surpassed one million vehicles.
In total 1.01 million compact cars, crossovers, SUVs and vans were snapped up from Saudi Arabia to Cincinnati.
"This record result demonstrates the strength of the Volkswagen Group. Vehicles from our brands are thrilling more and more customers worldwide -- our new SUVs in particular are very popular. China continues to play an important role in this respect," said Fred Kappler, Head of Group Sales.
In September China accounted for 406,500 cars, a 6.3% increase on last September and an amount that nudges year to date sales in the country up to 2,895,000 vehicles.
However, the group saw market gains around the world. North American sales were up 21.8% due to the company's focus on country-specific SUV modes including the Atlas -- a car built in the US for the US and a vehicle quickly helping to rehabilitate the brand following two years of negative press.
In fact, the only areas where sales took a dip were in its native Germany (3.3% down, despite the launch of the new VW Polo) and western Europe, which dipped 0.5%.
The results arrive as JATO Dynamics official data shows the US market is contracting. Over the third quarter sales fell 1.1% compared with Q3 2016 but the shape of the market is changing. Twelve months ago, cars and minivans made up 44% of the country's market. Today, SUVs, CUVs and pickup trucks represent 60%, meaning that those brands with the best spread of off-roaders, trucks and vans are benefiting from this increasing shift in consumer tastes.
Over Q3, demand for SUVs in the US jumped another 4.9% and there was a 4.7% rise in pickup sales while all other types of car saw serious declines in demand.
Nevertheless, the VW Group has done enough to gain a 3.7% US market share, making it and its brands the ninth most popular car company in the country, just behind Subaru but ahead of Mercedes parent, Daimler.
JATO's figures also drill down to individual models and here, the outright winner in the US is Alfa Romeo. Two years ago it was trying to return to the US and today it can boast a 2902.5% increase in sales. In a very, very distant second place is Hyundai's new luxury marque, Genesis, which has seen a 91.4% improvement in sales while in third place, Aston Martin, has seen sales jump by 41.6% year on year.