The CARS (cash for clunkers) program is still in action, and Audi wants a piece of the pie

The CARS (cash for clunkers) program is still in action, and Audi wants a piece of the pie

Though overall sales figures have slumped through the end of 2008 and start of 2009, there are occasional bright patches of news as carmakers grab market share from long-time competitors or reach individual sales records. Audi has done just that, beating BMW's 3-series and Mercedes-Benz's C-Class in its home market for the year.

The rivalry between Audi and its German colleagues is deep, and though the brand doesn't sell as well in the U.S. in relation to BMW and Mercedes, its success in its home market serves to prove how fierce the competition is.

Audi sold 98,714 A4s in Germany in 2008, expanding its market share to 8.1%, up 0.8% over 2007. A rise of 0.4% to 4.8% market share throughout Western Europe also came in 2008; neither of those increases were matched by any other brand in the premium segment.

The win comes even as Audi is updating its A4 - new models are entering dealerships now, including the S4 Sedan and Avant. Last week the carmaker announced it has cracked the 1-million total sales mark for the first time in 2008, despite the downturn in the global economy, making Audi one of the few brands that can still claim to be on the rise.