(Updates throughout, adds DETROIT dateline, byline)
By Andreas Cremer
DETROIT, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Germany’s Volkswagen said on Sunday global December sales rose 2.7 percent to 881,000 vehicles as sales across VW’s multi-brand group rose on faster growth in China and Europe that outweighed falling sales in the United States and Latin America.
VW, whose brands include luxury division Audi and sports car maker Porsche, increased full-year deliveries by 4.2 percent to 10.14 million autos, meeting a 2007 target four years earlier than originally planned. The total also includes passenger cars, sports-utility vehicles, light commercial vans and heavy trucks.
Sales gains of 12 percent and 5.1 percent in China and Europe respectively outweighed declines of 2 percent and 20 percent in the United States and Latin America, VW said.
Europe’s largest automotive group had already eclipsed General Motors in 2013 to become the world’s second-biggest car maker behind Toyota. The German company has pledged to dethrone its Japanese rival no later than by 2018.
Wolfsburg-based VW is shifting its focus to profit as its long-planned sales targets are met.
The carmaker is seeking to cut 5 billion euros of costs at its core passenger-car brand by 2017 and plans to give more power to its regional leaders to boost operations in markets such as the United States and Brazil. (Editing by Eric Walsh)