Audi has announced its worldwide sales were up over 8% in the first nine months of the year to 741,300 vehicles.

Marketing and sales head Ralph Weyler said he expected global sales to reach 950,000 units for 2007 as a whole.

In the US sales were up 9.4% to 68,479 units, while in China sales rose 26% to 76,168 units.

Audi's sales were up in the four major European export markets. In the UK it sold 82,862, an increase of 16.7%,.in Spain, 45,221 vehicles, an increase of 5.1%, in Italy 45,122 units and, in France, 6.5% more cars than a year ago.

In the currently weak domestic market Audi's sales were down 1.7% to 186,441 during the first nine months, but off 9.9% in September. Audi attributed part of the decline in September to the fact that a redesigned A4 will be launched in November.

Other growth markets were Russia where sales were up 59.1% to 11,608 units and the Middle East where sales grew 32.9% to 4,626 vehicles.

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