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9. Volkswagen says sales hit record high in 2017

Executives at German automaker Volkswagen say their group sold 10.7 million vehicles around the world last year. That's up 4.3 percent from 2016 and a record high for the second year in a row.

Sales in China, the world's largest auto market, were up 5.1 percent. The firm also recorded a 5.8 percent rise in the United States. That's despite a scandal over rigged emissions testing that erupted in 2015.

CEO Matthias Mueller attributes the results to aggressive investment in electric vehicles and self-driving technologies. Efforts to improve diesel and gasoline-powered cars were another factor.

Volkswagen raced past Japanese car maker Toyota in global car sales in 2016 for the first time, making it the world's top-selling automaker.
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