FRANKFURT, Germany — Volkswagen AG says it sold 1.3 percent more vehicles globally in January but saw sales slip in Europe.
VW's marketing chief Christian Klingler said Friday it was an "encouraging start" to 2012 but he warned the year ahead would be "challenging."
The company sold 652,000 vehicles during the month, up from 644,200 in the same month a year earlier.
Sales in Western Europe outside Germany fell 7.8 percent, and in Germany by 1 percent.
Europe's economy is lagging because fears of financial turmoil from a possible government debt default have discouraged businesses and consumers from spending and investment. Economic output shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter in the 17 countries that use the euro.