Audi is off to a strong global sales start in 2013, following on from a record level of sales in 2012. Like other premium makers, it is seeing strong volume growth in North America and Asia. It is also managing to grow sales in Europe, including in markets that are experiencing hard economic times.

In January, the company sold around 111,750 automobiles worldwide, an increase of 16.3 percent and testimony to clear growth in all regions of the world. The successful midsize model lines A4 and Q5 made a substantial contribution to this growth, the company said. Deliveries rose strongly in China at 38.5 percent. In the USA (+7.5 percent) and Europe (+8.6 percent), too, January deliveries topped the figures from the prior-year month.

"Although the general economic situation in certain European countries remains challenging, we've managed to achieve a very successful start to the year in all regions of the world," says Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at Audi AG. And: "Our popular SUV models and the new A3 family will help to continue our pattern of growth in 2013."

In January 2013, around 37,678 customers in China bought an Audi - a 38.5 percent increase on a year ago. In 2012, the Chinese New Year celebrations fell in January, resulting in fewer sales days due to the holidays; in 2013, the New Year celebrations will be held in February. In Audi's largest sales market, the locally produced A4 L (+30.0 percent), Q5 (+55.1 percent) and A6 L models proved particularly popular last month, Audi said. Around 13,657 customers received their keys to the long-wheelbase luxury-class sedan (+52.9 percent).

Worldwide, the sales figures for the Audi midsize model lines A4, A5 and Q5 posted strong growth (around 50,800 units, an increase of 24.6 percent). Together with the A1 Sportback, just introduced about a year ago, and the Q3, this ensured that Audi also managed to sustain growth in markets experiencing economic difficulties, notching up an 8.6 percent increase throughout Europe.

In Germany, sales of the popular SUV Q5 rose by 70.1 percent to 1,553 units, while the A4 family increased by nearly 2,100 units. Overall, Audi posted an increase of 11.8 percent in its domestic market, equivalent to 14,611 automobiles sold. In the UK, too, Audi sold 9,878 units on the back of significant growth of 15.3 percent - also due to increased demand for the midsize models. For example, deliveries of the A5 Sportback increased by 48.1 percent and those of the Q5 by 54.4 percent. Audi also performed well in January in those markets where the general economic situation was already proving challenging over the past few months. In Spain sales rose by 8.6 percent to 2,754 units and in Italy by 3.9 percent to 3,767 units. In France, the company managed to maintain delivery totals on a par with the prior-year figure (4,011 units, +/-0 percent). In Eastern Europe, the markets continued to perform well, with Russia driving growth. Audi managed to increase sales here by 19.8 percent, selling 1,725 units in total.

Also in the United States, Audi sales figures for last month exceeded January 2012 deliveries - making it the most successful start to the year in Audi's US history: Audi increased its sales by 7.5 percent to 10,056 units. The midsize models also proved successful in the US, with US sales increasing by around 13.6 percent year-on-year overall. Mexico (sales up 48.6 percent) and Brazil (sales up 25.0 percent) posted other significant growth rates in the America sales region in January, Audi said.