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Audi forecast to sell 1.7 million plus cars globally in 2014

Audi forecast to sell 1.7 million plus cars globally in 2014

Audi expects to sell more than 1.7 million cars in 2014 even as sales momentum in some emerging markets slows, CEO Rupert Stadler said.

Last year, the carmaker sold 1.58 million, behind BMW brand, the global No. 1 in premium sales with 1.66 million. Third-placed Mercedes Benz brand sold 1.46 million.

“The driver of sales were the established economies, not emerging markets, with the exception of China,” Stadler said at the launch of the TT coupe, in remarks embargoed until Wednesday.

One market in which Audi has seen a weakening is Russia, where a crisis with Ukraine has rattled markets.

“For the past eight months we have had de facto no growth,” Stadler said in reference to Russia, adding that Audi raised prices there by between 5 and 6 percent to compensate for the ruble‚Äôs weakness against the euro.

Overall, Audi had very good sales in August, with the strong sales in the United States helping to offset weakness elsewhere, Stadler said. Audi has yet to release official sales figures for August.

Audi, owned by Volkswagen, delivered 1.01 million cars in the first seven months of the year, ahead of Mercedes, which sold 913,500, but behind rival BMW brand with 1.02 million deliveries.

Stadler said that he expected business in Brazil and India to rebound eventually, though a recovery in those countries may take longer than expected.

The Audi executive reiterated the company’s goal of selling two million vehicles a year by 2020.

Sales are expected to receive a boost when Audi launches a next generation of its TT Coupe towards the end of this year, followed by a convertible version, Stadler said.

Audi will also start renewing its larger cars, the A5, A6, A7 and A8 limousines when it launches a new modular assembly kit, known as MLB, next year, Stadler added.