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Audi hits record

2007-07-05 13:22
Volkswagen's premium brand Audi breached the half-million mark in vehicle sales in the first half of the year, boosted by sales records in 41 different markets, but it forecast a slowdown in growth ahead.

Audi said on Thursday that June sales improved by 11 percent to 88 800 vehicles, bringing first-half sales to a record 509 000 vehicles - a gain of 9.8 percent.

"This result means that we have a cushion for the second half of the year, which is usually weaker for the whole market and which for us will be dominated by an important model change," Audi sales and marketing chief Ralph Weyler said in a statement.

"Against this background, our target for 2008 remains to sell 1 million vehicles."

Audi said it even saw growth across the largely saturated markets of western Europe, and achieved its goal of winning market share from rivals in the first half.

It posted its best figure ever for market share in Germany at 7.9 percent, and said vehicle sales in its key UK market grew by just over 19 percent to 55 557 units.

Volkswagen had previously reported first-half sales figures for its Czech value brand Skoda, which rose 13.2 percent to 311 062 cars, and its commercial vehicles unit, up 7.6 percent to a record 231 500 trucks, buses and vans.

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