Audi aims to hit sales target of 1.5 mln cars two years early

BERLIN Fri Aug 2, 2013 4:20am EDT

BERLIN Aug 2 (Reuters) - German luxury carmaker Audi, Volkswagen's key profit driver, aims to hit its sales target of 1.5 million cars two years early in 2013.

"We will keep growing this year despite a partially difficult market environment," sales chief Luca de Meo said in the quarterly earnings statement published on Friday.

Audi, which contributed about 40 percent to VW's 3.43 billion-euro ($4.54 billion) second-quarter profit, said it will stand by a goal of keeping its profit margin at the upper end of a 8-10 percent target range this year, after 11 percent in 2012.

Powered by demand from China and the United States, Audi's first-half deliveries rose 6.4 percent to 780,500 autos, just 24,000 shy of luxury market leader BMW's vehicle sales.

As a result, 2013 sales may increase slightly above last year's 48.8 billion euros, the company said.

Ingolstadt-based Audi, which eclipsed Daimler's Mercedes-Benz in 2011 as the world's No. 2 premium automaker, has a goal of increasing sales to over 2 million by 2020. ($1 = 0.7557 euros) (Reporting by Andreas Cremer)

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