Worldwide sales of Audi increased by 0.8 percent to 96,100 automobiles last month, as strong markets in China and the U.S offset the weak demand in the European market, where consumers still shun big-ticket purchases over the threat of recession. Even with the modest increase in sales in January, the company is confident of growth this year. Peter Schwarzenbauer, head of marketing and sales at Audi, commented that even with the headwinds in some European markets have "strengthened noticeably of late," the signs still point to growth for the automaker.
In January, the automaker kept its position as the second bestselling premium brand in the world, behind BMW, which achieved sales of 96,183 units in the same period, only 83 more compared to Audi. On the other hand, Mercedes sold 86,921 automobiles last month. In Audi's biggest market -- China with Hong Kong included -- the company sold 22,206 units in January, an increase of 22.6 percent in year-on-year figures.
In Germany, the automaker's sales fell 2.3 percent in Germany to 13,067 units as the country continued to feel the effects of the sovereign debt crisis across the region. Germany is the biggest market in Europe. It is also the second largest market for Audi.In general, European sales for the automaker fell 13 percent to 45,900 units in the first month. In the UK, the company's sales dive 13.1 percent to 8,565 in the same month. The UK is Audi's second-biggest single European market and fourth-largest global market. On the other hand, sales in the U.S. sales leaped 19.7 percent in January to 9,354 units. The U.S. is the company's third largest worldwide market.