FRANKFURT -- Audi raised its full-year global sales forecast to 1.7 million vehicles as strong demand in China and the United States continues to offset slumping volume in Europe.
"Worldwide demand for our automobiles continues to develop positively even if the economic environment in certain markets remains challenging. We are confident of selling 1.7 million cars by the end of the year," sales chief Luca de Meo said in a statement on Monday.
Audi sold sold 1.58 million vehicles last year. In the first eight months of this year, sales increased by 10.5 percent to 1.13 million vehicles. August sales rose 6 percent year-on-year to 125,300.
"Whilst not as strong as Mercedes' growth in August [a 9 percent rise], continued growth at Audi speaks to the strength of the global premium car market," Arndt Ellinghorst, head of automotive research at ISI Group, said in an emailed note to investors on Tuesday.
Audi said its growth was driven by sales of its A3 compact and A6 midsize models including the Q3, the smallest of the carmaker’s SUV lineup. Q3 sales rose 40 percent in August.
Sales rose 10 percent to 47,145 in China last month, offsetting a 7 percent decline to 42,850 in Europe. U.S. deliveries rose 22 percent to 17,101.
The UK was Audi's best performing European market in August with sales rising 21 percent to 5,405, buoyed by strong demand for the A3. In Germany, Audi’s home market, sales plunged 27 percent to 14,034.
Reuters contributed to this report