VW's Audi says March auto sales up 3 pct on SUV demand

BERLIN, April 8 Mon Apr 8, 2013 5:04am EDT

BERLIN, April 8 (Reuters) - German luxury-car maker Audi boosted vehicle sales 3 percent in March on demand for the Q3 and Q5 SUVs, extending year-to-date deliveries by 6.8 percent to a record 369,500 autos.

Sales in Audi's core European market, accounting for half of the VW-owned brand's global deliveries, fell 3.2 percent last month to 82,800 autos as Audi is feeling the pinch from the euro-zone debt crisis.

The world's second-largest luxury-car manufacturer pledged to keep growing vehicle sales in coming months, sales chief Luca de Meo said in a statement published on Monday. Sales in March totalled 147,700 cars and SUVs compared with 143,442 a year ago. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Harro ten Wolde)