FRANKFURT -- Audi new-car sales in China rose 44 percent to 36,278 cars last month, putting it ahead of rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
BMW-brand sales rose 31 percent to 25,500, while Mercedes sales increased 1 percent to 16,529 in the same period.
In the first five months, Audi's Chinese sales were up 42 percent to 160,562, while BMW-brand sales rose 34 percent to 125,800. Mercedes sales grew 9 percent to 82,534 in the same period.
The sales race between the three premium carmakers extends beyond the Chinese market. The German automakers are locked in a global battle to determine who can sell the most vehicles.
Audi is targeting annual sales of 2 million cars by 2020 as it seeks to pass BMW, which is currently the best-selling premium brand worldwide.
Last year, the BMW brand sold 1.38 million cars and SUVs. Audi sold 1.3 million, while Mercedes-Benz sold 1.26 million.
Sources: Reuters, Automotive News Europe