Volkswagen group's Audi brand has reported a record first quarter with worldwide deliveries reaching around 369,500 units in the first three months of this year.
It achieved growth in all of its three main sales regions - Europe, Asia and North America. March was particularly strong with 147,700 cars sales, up 3% year on year.
Sales and marketing chief Luca de Meo said: “Building on the first quarter’s record deliveries, we want to continue this positive sales trend over the next months. The new A3 Sportback will also contribute to this. It was successfully introduced in the first markets in February and we are very pleased with the response from the dealerships.”
The A1 Sportback, A4 family and the SUV models provided a further boost in the first quarter of 2013. Worldwide sales of the compact SUV Q3 gained 58.2% year on year, climbing to around 28,550 units, while the Q5 grew by 15.6% to some 56,350.
Despite the challenging economic environment, Audi saw a slight increase in deliveries in Europe compared with the first quarter of 2012, up 0.7% to 187,600 cars. German sales were up 2% at 59,116.
In the UK, total sales climbed 9.7% to 39,242, and March results in particular also showed growth, improving 8% over March 2012 to 24,913 units.
The markets in Eastern Europe continued steady growth up more than 9% in the first quarter to around 14,000. In Russia, 8,278 delivies equated to growth of 15.4%.
However in the struggling Southern European markets Audi saw sales in Italy dip 6.4% to 12,096 units in the first three months while France fell 8.4% to 14,542. In Spain deliveries increased slightly by 0.6% to 10,897.
There was a record-breaking start for the brand in the US 34,186 deliveries in the first three months, up 16%. Growth was particularly driven by the Q5 and Q7 SUV models, which grew by 37.3% and 48.4% respectively.
Other countries in the Americas enjoyed double-digit growth in the first-quarter with Mexico growing by 48.6% to 2,609 units and Brazil by 11.1% to 1,157.
In China, Audi’s biggest sales market, brand passed through the 100,000 threshold after only three months for the first time in its 25 years in the market.
Sales of 102,810 cars represented a gain of 14.2%. The A6 L further underscored its position as the most successful business saloon in the Chinese premium segment with sales of 36,489 units, up 36.7%.
The Asia-Pacific region saw 124,200 deliveries, a growth rate of almost 15%. In Japan, sales grew 17.4% between January and March, while sales in India advanced by 15.3%.