BEIJING: Europe's biggest car maker, Volkswagen, says it still expects to shift one million vehicles in China this year, despite a sales growth slowdown in July.

VW's China chief Winfried Vahland conceded short-term "turbulence" caused by fuel price hikes and the ongoing Olympic Games, but is "optimistic about the mid and long-term”.

The company is an official sponsor of the Games to boost its brand presence in China, it largest market.

Added Vahland: "We want to win the gold medal in China."

The company will have invested a total of €7 billion ($10.5bn; £5.4bn) in the country by end of 2008. It sold 531,612 vehicles there in the first half, a rise of 23% over the year-ago period.

Data sourced from (Germany); additional content by WARC staff