Ingolstadt, Mumbai: Audi says the first three months of 2008 have been the most successful first quarter in its history.
From January to March 2008, the brand with the four rings achieved worldwide sales of 251,268 cars, 1.3 per cent more than in the first three month of last year.
Audi AG develops and produces cars for the luxury car segment worldwide. The company achieved its twelfth consecutive record year in 2007, with 964,151 cars sold.
Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Gyor (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). At the end of 2007, production of Audi A6 started in Aurangabad, India.
Audi sales in the first three months were up most markedly in the Asia-Pacific region, where the company sold 39,572 cars, an increase of 20.9 per cent.
In China (including Hong Kong), the second-largest foreign market after the United Kingdom, Audi sold 30,425 cars, a rise of 25 per cent. The company also experienced impressive growth in Eastern Europe, where sales figures rose 15.3 per cent above the first-quarter results of last year with 10,987 cars sold by the end of March.
First-quarter sales in Russia were up 28.5 per cent with 3,880 cars sold. In the United Kingdom, Audi even surpassed its record figures of last year in the first quarter, with further growth of 4.1 per cent to a total of 32,512 cars.
March sales figures for Audi AG were at 101,247 cars, despite a comparatively lower number of workdays.
''After a strong start to the year, the March sales figures as expected show the effects of the generational change in our bestselling Audi A4 model'', remarked Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of Audi AG. ''Order placement for the new model generation is already very encouraging. We are committed to our goal of one million cars for the year.''
Since the world premier of the A4 Sedan at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and the presentation of the A4 Avant in Geneva, more than 80,000 orders have been placed for the successor to the highest-volume model within the Audi model range. Already boasting numerous awards, the Audi A4 most recently won the title ''Our Car'' as Germany's most popular car, awarded at the AMI Leipzig.
The new Audi A3 Cabriolet, available since this week on the German market, has also been well received by customers. According to Stadler, ''the order books are already looking good.'' This convertible model will give an edge to the already highly successful A3 family. Between January and March, AUDI AG increased sales figures for the A3 Sportback and the three-door A3 once again by 2.5 percent to 62,021 cars.
Audi AG will also strengthen its presence in the SUV segment this year, celebrating the world premier of the Audi Q5 at the eve of Auto China 2008 in Beijing beginning on 19 April. The Audi Q5 is positioned below the Audi Q7, which has been enjoying worldwide success for three years now.
Audi has active business interests in over 100 markets worldwide. In 2007 Audi India, based in Mumbai, commenced its business activities. The Audi model range in India includes Audi A8, Audi Q7, Audi A6, Audi A4 and Audi TT and is available at present in six dealerships across the country: in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Pune.