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Volkswagen's Diess says doesn't think China market has peaked

A security guard stand next to a Volkswagen logo at the stage of the company prior to the opening of the 15th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in this April 19, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

TOKYO (Reuters) - The head of Volkswagen AG's (VOWG_p.DE) namesake brand said on Wednesday he did not think demand for cars had peaked in China, as worries persist over the impact on global automakers from the weakness in the world's biggest auto market.

"The market in China has probably shifted from the big, major cities to smaller areas where there is more demand for mobility and cars," Volkswagen brand CEO Herbert Diess told reporters at the Tokyo Motor Show.

"We don't think the China market has peaked but the growth rate for sure is slowing," he added.

Chinese vehicle sales climbed for the first time in six months in September, putting year-to-date growth at 0.3 percent, the weakest in years. The Volkswagen group is the top automaker in China, which has accounted for more than half of its profit in recent years.

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Writing by Chang-Ran Kim)