The UK remains the largest export market for Volkswagen commercial vehicles, with credit-crunch sales down only 4.9% compared with total market fall of 13.7%.
However, the company reports a record 503,025 vehicles sold worldwide, up 2.9% despite challenging conditions caused by the global recession.
The Transporter was Volkswagen's best-selling commercial vehicle (178,000 sold worldwide), followed by the Caddy (151,570) and the Crafter (51,100).
Highlights of the year included the launch of the Caddy Maxi and Life MPV (with UK sales of 1,365 and 547 respectively), while much of the company's success is credited to competitive finance packages.
Meanwhile, new facilities at the Van Centre network at Croydon and Glasgow and record numbers of master technicians graduating from the company's apprenticeship programme are also noted.
Said boss Stephan Schaller: "Despite the difficult market trends in the second six months of the year we have achieved the best ever sales in the history of our company.
"We aim to sell 750,000 commercial vehicles by 2018, while further new products and markets will continue to strengthen our sales and profit growth."
© Press Association 2009