Audi broke its annual vehicle sales record in the U.S. earlier this week when it recorded its 93,507th transaction of 2010. The sale eclipsed the old U.S. record of 93,506 vehicles sold in 2007 and Audi execs are now confident that the 100,000 mark can be reached before the year is out.

However, unlike its rivals, the U.S. isn't Audi's biggest market but rather its fourth, after the UK, China and Germany--the latter remaining Audi’s biggest. However, that may change as early as next year as the automaker is predicting China to become its biggest market in 2011.

Audi’s sales in China surged almost 50 percent over the past 11 months, reaching 209,000 vehicles, which is almost on par with Germany’s tally. Not surprisingly Audi is on track for a record year of sales, with early estimates pitting the final number around the 1.08 million mark, a 14 percent increase of 2009’s tally.

The significance of this result is that going into the future, the U.S. may no longer be the key influencer of vehicle design but rather China and its neighboring markets.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]