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Audi Posts 8.3% 2013 Sales Gain on Demand for A3, SUVs

Audi AG, the world’s second-biggest maker of luxury cars, reported an 8.3 percent increase in 2013 sales as the A3 and its sport-utility vehicles attracted buyers.

Deliveries rose last year to 1.58 million cars vehicles, surpassing the 1.5 million mark two years earlier than planned, the Ingolstadt, Germany-based automaker said in a statement today. Demand for the A3 climbed 19 percent, while the Q lineup of SUVs posted a “strong increase,” Audi said.

“In the past four years alone, Audi has attracted more than 600,000 new customers,” Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler said in the statement.

The manufacturer, owned by Volkswagen AG, is targeting 2 million annual deliveries amid plans to beat global premium-segment leader Bayerische Motoren Werke AG by the end of the decade. The strategy is part of a broader push by VW to become the world’s biggest carmaker in the next five years.

Audi will spend 22 billion euros ($29.9 billion) through 2018 to develop models and expand production, the company said last month. About 15.4 billion euros, or 70 percent of the total, will be invested in new cars and SUVs, along with creating technology.

The budget is part of the Volkswagen group’s 84.2 billion-euro investment program to beat Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. in global sales.

BMW’s Response

BMW is seeking to fend off challenges by Audi and Mercedes-Benz with its own expansion. The Munich-based carmaker is introducing a total of 25 models in 2013 and 2014, including 10 vehicles, such as the Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe, that have no predecessor. BMW said in November that its spending would exceed targets in 2013 and continue at a high rate this year.

Daimler AG’s Mercedes, which ranks third in the luxury segment, will bring 13 all-new models to market by the end of the decade.

Audi plans to increase its product range to 60 models by 2020 from about 49 currently. The third generation of the TT coupe is scheduled to go on sale this year. Audi will also add to its SUV lineup with the subcompact Q1 in 2016. To meet anticipated demand, the manufacturer is adding production in China, Brazil and Mexico.

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