After reporting record sales in the US in 2012, Audi announced it will continue to grow this year.

Last year Audi sold a record 139,000 units in the US, up 69% from 2009 and 18.5% from 2011, while December was the automaker’s best month in the States with 14,800 units sold. Audi of America President Scott Keogh said that the company plans to sell 200,000 vehicles in the US this year.

“You need to be the best of the best… not kind of the best, not sort of the best, not maybe the best,” Keough said. “No one is going to pay a premium, no one is going to pay more for something they don’t perceive that way.”

Beginning with 2005 Audi invested almost $15 billion to upgrade platforms, technology and vehicles, despite slow demand and small profit in the US market. The automaker also improved its dealership, as this was a key part of the company’s turnaround. All these changes and investments made Audi a tough competitor for the biggest automakers in the world. Mercedes Benz CEO Stephen Cannon called Audi ‘a terrific competitor.’

“They do about half our volume and they are growing, but so are we. They are not closing the gap very much,” Cannon said. “They’ve got a long way to go in terms of the scope of their lineup in terms of Mercedes-Benz.”


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