By Drew Johnson
Monday, Jul 8th, 2013 @ 4:25 pm
 
Audi sold more vehicles worldwide during the first six month of 2013 than any first-half in the company's history, the German automaker announced on Monday.

Thanks to strong demand for its smaller offerings, Audi's first half sales increased by 6.4 percent to a record-setting 780,500 vehicles.

"The new A3 and the Q3 and Q5 SUV models in particular contributed significantly to our sustained global sales growth in the first half of the year. We have clearly exceeded the 2012 figure for deliveries, despite a much more difficult environment in many key markets at present," says Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management for Sales at Audi. "In the second half of the year, the A3 Sedan will make an impact in the first markets. This model will play a decisive role in continuing the A3 success story."

Not surprisingly, China was a major reason for Audi's first-half sales record. Sales in the world's largest auto market shot up 17.7 percent to 228,139 deliveries in the January to June period, marking the first time Audi has ever sold more than 200,000 vehicles to start the year in China.

In the United States, Audi's first-half sales surged 14 percent to 74,277 units. Demand for the Q5 was particularly strong during the first six month of the year, with sales of the crossover ballooning 35.2 percent to 18,310 units.

Audi's gains in China and the U.S. were able to outweigh the automaker's performance in Europe, where sales decreased 2.5 percent to 383,700 vehicles. However, Audi was able to post improved figures in the UK, Switzerland and Russia.

Audi is currently battling BMW for the title of world's best-selling luxury brand.