INGOLSTADT, Germany – Audi will easily exceed its sales volume target this year, CEO Rupert Stadler said.
"We will clear the bar of 1.2 million sales cleanly, perhaps with some air in between," Stadler told Automotive News Europe in an interview at Audi's headquarters here.
He added: "But let's look beyond 2011. With the new generation of the A6 and the Audi Q3, which reaches dealers this autumn, we are creating the conditions for a successful 2012 when these models will be available over an entire12-month period for the first time."
Audi will grow further in the coming years to reach annual new-car sales of 2 million by 2020. The company's original aim of 1.5 million sales by 2015 will likely be reached a year earlier in 2014, Stadler said, adding: "But we have nothing against it happening earlier."
North America and China will play key roles in Audi's growth.
"We are doing extremely well in the USA and want to boost our sales by a percentage in the two-figure range this year, between 10 percent and 20 percent," Stadler said. In 2010, Audi reached 100,000 sales in the U.S. for the first time.
"Things are going the way we envisioned. Our dealers are even asking for more cars that we can deliver at the moment. No one would have anything against achieving our goal of 150,000 to 160,000 units earlier than 2015. But this is a marathon, not a sprint," the CEO said.
Audi expects significant growth in China. "It took us 22 years to sell the first one million vehicles. We'll sell the second million in just three years, between 2011 and 2013,"Stadler said.
To meet growing sales, Audi will expand its capacity in China of 300,000 units to about half a million units by 2020.
"For 2011, China will be our biggest market worldwide for the first time with a sales volume of about 300,000 units, putting it ahead of Germany. That's why we announced that we will produce the Q3 locally, in addition to the A4 L, the A6 L and the Audi Q5. The exact timing is not set," Stadler said.