CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press)-- The Chattanooga-made Passat hit a new all-time annual sales record in the U.S., helping drive Volkswagen's overall sales 35.1 percent higher for 2012, the company reported today.

Volkswagen of America reported that it sold 117,023 Passats for 2012. In December alone, VW sold 14,462 of the midsize sedan.

"Clearly it has been a year of strong growth for VW in the U.S.," said Jonathan Browning, VW Group of America's chief executive, in a conference call with analysts and reporters.

Passat sales in 2012 were up 413.7 percent versus 2011, according to the automaker as the company ramped up production of the redesigned vehicle aimed at appealing better to American motorists.

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