This year could see China overtake Germany as Volkswagen’s biggest market for the first time, with sales in the country already at record levels and managers forecasting more than 1.05 million sales in China for the year’s total. VW is the current leader in China, commanding a 19.1% share of the market for combined sales of its VW, Audi and Skoda models.

To maintain this lead, the German carmaker established the ‘Project Olympia’ strategy several years back to focus on brand positioning, cost, sales and marketing and product lineup. The carmaker now plans to launch more than 12 new models in China over the next two years, including several vehicles unique to the market. Pictured above is the Lavida, a compact sedan developed jointly with VW’s Chinese partner Shanghai Auto.

According to Jörg Mull, a representative of VW in China, managers are confident of selling over one million units this year in China alone, reports Automotive News. The first half of the year has already seen sales total 531,614 units, putting the carmaker in prime position to reach the one million mark.

Sales in Germany for the first half of the year outnumbered those in China by less than 3,000 but the most telling numbers came in the growth figures - while VW's German sales had grown by 3.7%, the Chinese market had grown by 23.2% compared to the same period a year ago.