Volkswagen (VLKAY) drove German stocks higher Monday after the automaker said it saw growth in car deliveries in 2016.
Shares in the Wolfsburg-based company jumped 2.85% to a 52-week high of €147.23 each, making it the biggest gainer among the DAX constituents, extending the three month gain to 12%. The share price is also the highest since Sept. 18, 2015, when news of the company's emissions-rigging scandal first surfaced, a revelation that would eventually cost the automaker more than $18 billion.
The maker of the Polo and Golf brands said Monday global sales of Volkswagen passenger cars in 2016 advanced 2.8% year on year to 5.99 million vehicles. The automaker added that deliveries in December jumped 16.4%.
"These encouraging results at the close of 2016 give us confidence for 2017 - a year in which there will be several important product premieres in all regions," said Jurgen Stackmann, Volkswagen brand board member for sales.
The stellar performance was mostly driven by China, its largest market, where sales jumped 28.7%, as well as the US. These more than offset a noticeable decline in its home market.
Data disclosed last week by the Swedish automaker association BIL Sweden showed that Volkswagen had toppled Volvo (VOLVY) off its top place for the first time in more than 50 years. One of the automaker's signature models was named the most popular car in Sweden for 2016, overtaking the Nordic country's favorite brand for the last five decades.
The solid gains appeared to overshadow a New York Times report that said a VW executive -- Oliver Schmidt, whom the NYT says led the company's U.S. regulatory compliance office from 2014 to March 2015 -- was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Florida Sunday on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.