By Drew Johnson
Friday, May 11th, 2012 @ 10:53 am
 
Despite a record-setting start to 2012, Volkswagen warned on Friday that its breakneck sales pace could slow for the remainder of the year as the result of a weakening European market.

VW's sales advanced 8.9 percent during the first four months of 2012, but the German automaker says that pace will slow as it deals with slumping European demand. VW didn't indicate by how much its sales growth might slow.

"We expect the markets in western Europe to deteriorate further," VW group sales chief Christian Klingler told Automotive News. "Our current projection has been adjusted downward and we are therefore keeping an even closer eye on market developments."

Part of that slower growth will undoubtedly be linked to VW's Spanish Seat brand. Seat was the only VW brand that failed to record higher sales during the first four months of 2012, posting sales down 13.3 percent to 105,100 units. Seat is most popular in the southern regions of Europe which have been hit hardest by the continent's economic troubles.