Audi has announced that it will increase its North American marketing budget to $40 million in 2008 -- an estimated increase of $30 million over 2007. The marketing budget doesn't include other expenses such as digital promotions, so the final figure will actually be quite larger. For example, when all marketing expenses were calculated for 2006, the grand total was $47.3 million.

"Our budgets will grow because Audi is growing," Johan de Nysschen, Audi's U.S. chief, told Automotive News. "The marketing spend represents a good spike."

The increase in spending is due to the release of several new Audi vehicles, including the all-new A4, R8 and S5. De Nysschen also said that he expects spending to increase in 2009 for the debut of the Q5 and for diesel and hybrid versions of the company's Q7 crossover.

The increase in marketing spending reflects Audi's goal to top 200,000 sales in the U.S. by 2018. In 2006, Audi sold 90,116 vehicles in the U.S.