BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's <VOWG_p.DE> group sales rose 7.1 percent in September, the largest monthly gain in two-and-a-half years, powered by demand for VW brand cars in China and robust sales in Europe, it said on Friday.
New vehicle registrations at the multi-brand group increased to 947,600 passenger cars, commercial vehicles and heavy trucks, VW said on Friday, from 885,200 a year earlier.
That's the biggest monthly advance since April 2014 when VW posted a 8.2 percent gain, and shows the group may be coping with the impact of its emissions scandal uncovered more than a year ago.
"The increased deliveries make us optimistic we will be able to master the upcoming challenges," group sales chief Fred Kappler said.
September sales were helped by a 20-percent jump in China, VW's biggest market, and persistent growth in Europe where VW sells about 40 percent of its vehicles. The 6.3 percent gain in its home region was the second-biggest monthly gain this year.
Improving sales may lessen the pressure on the carmaker's top management and labor leaders to consider job cuts as both sides are struggling to agree an outline for cost cuts and strategy at the core VW brand.
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Deliveries of VW's largest division were up 6.7 percent last month to 547,700 cars, with growth in China, Europe and even Russia offsetting declines in the Americas.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Georgina Prodhan)