AUDI AG started the new year with a 22.6 percent jump in sales, as the company delivered around 95,400 cars to customers worldwide in January. The European export market provided strong momentum. Sales increased significantly here in what continues to be a difficult business climate. The new Audi A1 and a continuing increase in sales to corporate customers provided for a 14.8 percent increase in Germany. Audi continued the successful developments of the past few months in the United States and China.
Based on the current order situation, we expect a strong first quarter in 2011, said Peter Schwarzenbauer, AUDI AG Board Member for Marketing and Sales. Development of the business in our European export markets is important to our annual forecast, which calls for 1.2 million cars to be sold. And I see strong signs here, with an increase of 18.6 percent in January alone, Schwarzenbauer continued.
Audi recorded significant growth in all core European markets, bucking the trend. While the overall markets continued to decline in Audis strongest foreign European markets such as Spain, Italy and the UK Audis sales figures increased considerably, including a jump of about 23.7 percent in Spain. Following Western Europe, the Eastern European markets are now also growing rapidly for Audi. Sales in the most important market in the region Russia grew by 48.4 percent in January.
Audis sales profited from the increased production of the Audi A1 in both the European export markets and Germany. At the same time, sales to commercial customers continued to rise in January. In all, AUDI AG sold 13,381 in the domestic German market, an increase of 14.8 percent over the same month last year.
Worldwide, Audis SUV models were particularly successful in January. The Audi Q5, with 12,900 units sold, was once again the best-selling vehicle in its premium segment. Sales of its big brother, the Audi Q7, also increased by more than 50 percent compared to the previous year. The model enjoyed particularly high demand in China, the US and the UK.
In China, the brand with the four rings sold 22,196 cars in January, an increase of 32.1 percent. Sales in the US rose by 20 percent to 7,812 cars. This growth was seen throughout the Americas and the Asia-Pacific regions. Audi gained 46.2 percent in volume in South America, while sales in Canada also increased, by 29 percent. Sales figures in Japan grew by 41.6 percent.