Source AP ©

Audi sales up 5.3 percent worldwide

Volkswagen AG’s luxury arm Audi AG said Thursday that its global sales worldwide increased 5.3 percent in October compared with last year.

The Ingolstadt-based maker of the TT and A4, among others, said it sold 76,900 cars last month, up from the 73,050 it sold in October 2006.

That put the company on course to surpass its goal of selling 950,000 cars by the end of the year, said Ralph Weyler, who oversees marketing and sales at the company.

"Owing to last month's results, we are extremely confident about the final months of 2007," he said. In the January-October period, the carmaker has so far sold 818,200 cars worldwide, up 8 percent from the 757,763 it sold in the first 10 months of 2006.

Demand was strong in the United States, where sales rose 15.4 percent in October with 7,421 cars sold, while demand in Britain pushed sales higher by 12.8 percent to 7,066. In Germany, its home market, Audi sold 23,742 cars last month, up 5.5 percent from last year.

Its biggest increase, however, came in Asia and the Pacific where it sold 10,100 cars, up 17.9 percent from a year ago. China itself saw an increase of 24.8 percent.

So far, the company has sold 83,863 cars in China, including Hong Kong.

"We are aiming to sell more than 100,000 vehicles in China this year," Weyler said.

Shares of Audi were up nearly 3.2 percent to EUR743 (US$1,089.68) in Frankfurt.

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