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One Million for Audi

German automaker Audi has been making great leaps in the right direction. Years ago, the luxury division of the largest European automaker, Volkswagen AG, has been left far behind by fellow German brands Mercedes-Benz and BMW. In recent times though, Audi is moving in the right direction and is looking to catch up with the both Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

This year, Audi is looking to post record sales as it is on the way of selling a million cars and light trucks this year. For the first half of the year, Audi has already sold more than 509,000 vehicles. Aside from reaching the halfway point of the million sales goal, the sales output of the German luxury automaker has increased by almost ten percent compared to the first half of 2006.

With more than half of a million vehicles sold all over the world for the first half of the year, Audi is confident that it can sell a million vehicles this year. In the United States, the automaker is making great strides not only in sales but also in customer relations. In a recent study conducted by Pacific Grove, California-based consulting firm Pied Piper, Audi is ranked in the top ten in terms of their salespersons' interaction with potential customers.

This good standing with consumers is one of the reasons for the company's increasing sales in the country. Last month, vehicle sale for the company in the country is 3.1 percent lower than that of June 2006. In spite of that, first half sales output is up by 13 percent.

The German luxury automaker offers seven auto models in the United States for the current model year. These are the Q7, the much awaited R8, the TT coupe, the A3, A4, A5, A6, and the A8. These vehicles are known for their superior performance making them popular among American performance enthusiasts.

Ralph Weyler, Audi's corporate sales and marketing chief, said: "Over 500,000 vehicles sold - that is a historic figure for us and an outstanding success for the entire Audi team all around the world." All these vehicles are equipped with parts as reliable as Mercedes-Benz brake pads, fuel filters, automotive electronic components and others.

In an effort to make Audi a separate identity apart from Volkswagen in the United States auto market, it has been separated from its parent's operations in North America. Even though it appears as if Audi is separate from Volkswagen, the auto brands are sharing platforms, engines, gearboxes and other components.

Of the automaker's offering in the United States auto market, the R8 is the most anticipated. The mid-engined sports car is being marketed by the company as 'one of the most exclusive sports cars in the world'. The high performance of this particular model is legendary. It will be making its first appearance in the United States auto market this September.

The introduction of the sports car named after the 24 Hours of Le Mans winner R8 LMP is expected to boost sales for the German automaker. In the past, performance enthusiast who owned Audi A8s uses aftermarket parts to give their cars a performance akin to the R8. But with the car readily available in the United States auto market soon, performance enthusiasts are expected to buy them straight off instead of modifying A8s. Pricing for the R8 is not yet announced by Audi.

About The Author Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive.buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.
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