(WRCB) – In a financial report released Wednesday, Volkswagen reported its best December since 1972, selling more than 32,500 units in the final month of 2011.

The German auto maker reports selling 324,402 cars in 2011, a 26.3 percent increase in sales over 2010; making last year its best in nine years.

"December capped off a successful year of growth for Volkswagen of America," said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. "In addition to strong sales performance, in 2011 we opened an award-winning manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., launched the all-new Beetle and Passat - which won the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year - and the brand made the biggest improvement in Sales Satisfaction in the industry.  We look forward to carrying this momentum into 2012." 

The Chattanooga-built Passat, one of the three finalists for North American Car of the Year, outsold 2010's volume by 124 percent selling 22,779 units, including 6,884 units for the month of December 2011.

Jetta sedan sales totaled 150,515 for 2011 a 54.5 percent increase over 2010; in December 12,422 units were sold marking an 18 percent increase.

The 2012 Beetle sold 5,626 units for the year, 1,530 for the month of December. GTI sales increased 22.6 percent for the year and 24.6 percent increase in December sales. The Touareg saw an increase in sales of 59.9 percent for the year and 38.6 percent for December.

Volkswagen's high-mileage, clean diesel TDI models account for 21.6 percent of sales in 2011 and 18.4 percent in December.