Audi remains China's top luxury brand despite gains by BMW, Mercedes
In China, Volkswagen AG's Audi luxury division sold 227,900 cars and SUVs in 2010, a 43 percent gain over the previous year.
The German luxury brand set a sales record in China even though Audi sales declined 5 percent in December year-on-year to 18,200 units. Towards the end of the year, dealerships ran low on cars, the automaker said.
Audi retained its status as China's best-selling luxury brand despite big sales gains by BMW AG and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz division.
For the year, Mercedes-Benz' group sales -- which includes the Smart brand -- soared nearly 112 percent to 148,400 units. In the first 11 months of 2010, BMW group sales rose 90 percent to 152,000, exceeding the company's 120,000-unit sales goal for the entire year.
Audi sold 1.1 million cars and SUVs worldwide last year, an increase of 15 percent from 2009, the company said in a statement.
Audi CFO Axel Strotbek said in December that the booming Chinese market will help boost Audi's global sales to another record in 2011.
The company's corporate parent, Volkswagen AG, plans to spend 10.6 billion euros (91 billion yuan) in the world's biggest auto market through 2015.