Audi has recorded sales of over one million cars in a 12 month period for the first time, and at the same time achieved its 13th record year of sales in a row. Worldwide, the carmaker’s sales increased 4.1% through 2008, with 12 new models and expansion into new markets helping to boost the numbers.

In 2008 Audi sold a total of 1,003,400 cars worldwide, up from 964,151 the year before. With the newly introduced Q5 and the new A4 family, sales in December alone increased by 17.4% over the prior year’s December. This, during one of the automotive industry’s worst periods.

In the past year, Audi has launched 12 new or upgraded models. This gives it the advantage of having the youngest model range in the premium segment. The most important introductions were the B8 A4 sedan, which was rolled out in Europe in late 2007, the Audi A4 Avant which followed in April 2008, product upgrades of the A3 and A6, and the brand-new Audi Q5.

Audi achieved growth especially in the European markets and in the Asia-Pacific region. However, in the United States, the third-largest export market for Audi, sales of 87,760 cars in 2008 amounted to a 6.1% drop from the prior year.

Audi’s next major target is to crack the 1.5 million annual vehicle sales mark but the deadline for this is 2015.