INGOLSTADT, Germany -- Audi expects new models to push its sales to a new record this year despite "extremely challenging" business conditions, CEO Rupert Stadler said.
Audi is facing a variety of problems including volatile currencies, heightening competition in China and the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union, Stadler told its annual shareholder meeting today.
It is also still grappling with Volkswagen's Group's emissions test-cheating scandal. Audi set aside 228 million euros ($260 million) last year to cover technical fixes, legal risks and other measures related to its involvement, Stadler said.
"Our outlook for this financial year includes a number of negative indicators," Stadler said.
But Audi, which slipped behind Mercedes-Benz last year into third place among the top luxury-car selling brands, is counting on more than 20 all-new or redesigned models this year to beat 2015's record 1.8 million sales.
Finance chief Axel Strotbek reaffirmed Audi's goal to increase both deliveries and revenue "moderately," helped by expected demand for the new Q2 SUV and variants of its top-selling A4 model line.
"Audi's launch calendar should support momentum through 2016 and 2017," UBS analysts said in a note today. "Audi's solid momentum is a clear positive for Volkswagen Group."
Audi said on Wednesday that its global vehicle sales rose 7.5 percent to 164,350 last month, boosted by strong gains in key markets and a jump in demand for its SUV lineup. Four-month deliveries were up 4.9 percent to 620,100.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report