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Audi Sells 964,151 Cars Worldwide in '07

Luxury automaker Audi said Monday that it is closer to its goal of selling 1 million cars a year after it set a global sales record in 2007.

The Ingolstadt-based company, part of Volkswagen, Europe's biggest car maker by sales, sold 964,151 cars last year, up 6.5 percent from 2006 when it sold 905,188 cars.

Demand for its luxury autos, including the A4, the TT roadster and A6, was behind the increase, with buyers in China, the U.S. and Britain fueling the increased sales.

"The outstanding sales figures for 2007 are an important step on the path to reaching our ambitious corporate goals," Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said in a statement. "We were able to grow in all sales regions and we will continue to maintain our fast pace in 2008."

He said Audi expects to break through "the 1 million cars sales barrier for the first time in our history."

In Europe, Audi sold 686,480 cars last year, up 4.3 percent from last year, with demand from Britain leading its results, where it sold 100,712 cars, up 17.1 percent from 2006.

U.S. sales rose 3.8 percent with 93,506 cars sold, compared with 90,116 in 2006.

In Asia, sales rose by 21 percent to 134,176 cars sold, led by demand for imports in China, including Hong Kong.

In Africa and the Middle East, sales gained 13 percent to 27,866 cars sold, compared with 24,712.

In its home market, Germany, sales slipped 1.5 percent to 254,014 from 257,792, but that was still enough for Audi to increase its share in the domestic auto market from 7.6 percent in 2006 to 7.9 percent last year.