Audi China car sales up 44 percent in April image

Audi, the luxury carmaking unit of Volkswagen, sold 34,221 vehicles in April – indicating that demand for luxury cars continued to boom despite moderating growth in the Chinese mass-market segment.

The German automaker was able to keep sales on “high speed” even if the Chinese government said it won’t buy anymore Audi vehicles for its agencies.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi’s board member for marketing and sales, said Audi’s Chinese vehicle sales would roughly double over the next five years due to rising affluence, greater penetration into the country’s interior and growing demand for niches such as premium compacts.

“The growth trend that we saw in the first three months has continued,” Schwartenbauer said.

Schwarzenbauer said China should surpass the United States to become the world’s largest luxury car market by 2015, and he also saw opportunities in Europe despite the region’s economic woes.

“There are many markets in Europe that are developing well,” he said, citing Britain, Russia andGermany, that are offsetting struggling southern European markets.

In 2011, the German brand sold 313,000 vehicles in China 37% more than in 2010.