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Emerging economies power Audi sales to new record

Luxury German carmaker Audi AG raced ahead by 9.8% to a hit a new record during the H1 of the year with the increase powered ahead by rapidly growing demand in key emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. 

The surge in sales meant that the company, which is an offshoot of Volkswagen AG, breached the 500,000 mark for the first time in Audi's history with sales jumping by 11% alone in June. “Against this background, our target for 2008 remains to sell one million vehicles,” said Ralph Weyler, Audi board member for marketing and sales releasing the data. “Audi has made a successful start in markets such as India and is already exceptionally well positioned in growth regions such as the Middle East,” Weyler said.

While Audi sales in Europe rose 7.4% and 13.3% in North and South America in the H1 compared with the same period in 2006, sales in Russia's first-moving economy soared by 76.3%. June sales in Russia were up 72.1%, the company said. The carmaker said sales in the Asia-Pacific region bounded ahead by 21.6% in the H1 underpinned by a 26.9% jump in China, which is now Audi's second-biggest non-domestic market. A similar picture emerged in the Middle East, where Audi's sales rose 31.4%. (