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Audi’s Sales Increase by 14 Percent This Quarter

Audi has become a well establish luxury car marker and is now become a household name.  Audi’s A3 compact sedan and Mercedes-Benz’s top-of-the-line S-class model helped the German companies narrow the sales gap with global luxury-car leader BMW in the first half of 2014.

Six-month auto sales by BMW’s namesake brand exceeded Audi’s deliveries by 16,997 vehicles compared with a difference of 23,760 a year earlier, according to figures released by the manufacturers this week. BMW’s lead against Mercedes shrank 6 percent to 102,827 cars. All three automakers posted record deliveries for the period.

Audi has been renewing its A3 lineup since early 2013, and No. 3 Mercedes has been offering a wider range of compacts in addition to the new S-class version brought out a year ago. Both are pushing to overtake BMW in premium-auto sales by the end of the decade. BMW has responded with the 2-series and 4-series coupes and X4 SUV and is rolling out the plug-in i8, its first sports car in more than three decades.

“The gap should continue to narrow while BMW should see some support of its own, like the 2-series and the X4 as we go into the end of the year,” Stuart Pearson, a London-based analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, said by phone. “BMW will stay in the lead for the foreseeable future.”

Demand for premium models in China and the United States is contributing to growth at the German carmakers, which are all targeting record deliveries for 2014 as they vie for the global lead.

In the United States, Mercedes was the luxury leader, with 163,107 units sold in the first half of the year, up 8 percent compared with the same period last year. BMW followed with 157,382 units sold, up 12 percent. Audi sold 84,349 units, up 14 percent.  Watch Audi to continue to grow throughout the next quarter.

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