Volkswagen of America Inc. is on track to record its best sales year since 2004, according to Ward’s data.

October’s U.S. total of 28,212 VW and Audi deliveries pushed the auto maker’s 10-month tally to 294,492 vehicle deliveries – less than 40,000 units short of full-year 2004.

For October and through the year’s first 10 months, VWA’s numbers represent gains of 19.9% and 20.9%, respectively, compared with like-2009.

Volkswagen continues to grow sales in all models,” VWA Chief Operating Officer Mark Barnes says in a statement.

Steady growth is paramount to VWA’s goal of realizing 1 million U.S. sales annually by 2018 as Germany-based parent Volkswagen AG also strives to become the world’s top auto maker.

October deliveries of VW-brand cars and light trucks in the U.S. totaled 17,290 and 2,794, respectively, for gains of 20.5% and 34.3%, compared with like-2009.

Sales of Audi cars were flat at 5,240, but the luxury brand’s 2,888-unit light-truck tally represented a significant hike of 56.9%.

The VW Jetta, redesigned-for-’11, was the auto maker’s volume leader in October, with 11,958 deliveries for a 36.6% gain on year-ago.

Audi models ranked second and third. The A4 C-segment car accounted for 2,173 sales, followed closely by the Audi Q5 midsize cross/utility vehicle with 2,099.

While the Q5’s total was 75.8% better than year-ago, A4 sales slipped 13%.

October surprises included delivery totals for the VW Routan minivan (1,103) and Tiguan small CUV (1,403). The tallies represented gains of 71% and 55.3%, respectively, compared with same-month prior-year.

New VWA CEO Jonathan Browning recently singled out the Tiguan as a “great opportunity” to make further inroads in the U.S. But there needs to be a shift in market allocation, a key pillar of his mandate, he told journalists during a Detroit-area roundtable in September.

VWA’s light-truck volume last month and through October totaled 5,682 and 58,144, respectively, for healthy increases of 44.9% and 31.2%.

Car volumes accounted for 22,530 and 236,348 for these periods, good for gains of 14.9% and 18.5%, respectively, according to Ward’s data, which is adjusted for selling days.

There were 27 selling days last month, compared with 28 in like-2009.

Meanwhile, VW models featuring the auto maker’s trademark TDI clean-diesel technology “continue to do well,” Barnes notes, accounting for 25% of the brand’s total October volume, the auto maker says.

Through May, the TDI installation rate for ’10 VW models was 34%, according to Ward’s.

emayne@wardsauto.com