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China becomes top market for Volkswagen, surpassing Germany
( 2004-01-22 09:35) (Xinhua)

Volkswagen, the leading German automobile maker, sold more cars in China last year than in Germany, the company announced Wednesday.

This is the first time the top German car maker has sold more in a foreign country than in its own domestic market.

Taking advantage of the world's fastest-growing car market, Volkswagen sold a total 697,961 VWs and Audis in China in 2003, which represented a 36 per cent increase from 2002.

The German company has been the leading car producer in China since the 1980s. To defend its market share in China, Volkswagen last year announced an additional investment of US$1 billionthere.

By contrast, in the domestic market of Germany which was affected by a continued economic stagnation, Volkswagen sold 519,500 vehicles, including 237,786 Audis, last year, the company said.

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