Audi Aims to Increase Annual Sales in China to 1 Million Units

The recent sales growth in China leads automakers to believe they can do better, as Ingolstadt based automaker Audi aims to sell 1 million cars annually within three years, according to the Volkswagen unit's chief financial officer Axel Strotbek. China is expected to become the brand's biggest market by unit sales next year, surpassing Germany which will most likely be top in 2010.

The company plans to invest more than EUR 11 billion (US $14.76 billion) by 2015 to increase production in the country. Strotbek said he expects the market to grow even further, thanks to increased demand in China, after an expected 1.08 million cars this year. The company previously said it aimed to sell 1.5m cars in 2015.

Audi's German rivals increased their sales in the Chinese market as well. Mercedes Benz sold almost 129,500 vehicles in China in the first 11 months of the year, more than doubling its sales compared to the same period last year. The brand sold 14,145 vehicles in China in November, including 2,630 units of the C-Klasse model that were produced locally.

BMW sales hit another record high in China in the first 11 months, reaching 152.866 units. The MINI brand sold 9,170 vehicles, an increase of 140% year on year. The locally built 5 Series model had sales volumes in excess of 36,000 units in the first 11 months, with deliveries of the recently launched BMW 5 Series long wheelbase version topping 5,000 units in November. In November the Bavarian automaker delivered 16,300 BMW and MINI cars to customers in the Greater China region, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
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