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Audi says 2005 deliveries of cars up 6.4 per cent from 2004

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FRANKFURT (AP) _ Luxury carmaker Audi AG said Monday that sales and deliveries of its cars rose 6.4 per cent in 2005. The firm predicted a similar increase for 2006.

In a statement released by the German automaker, a unit of Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen AG, the company said it delivered 829,100 cars last year, up from 779,441 the previous year.

``We are aiming for another new delivery record in 2006,'' chief executive Martin Winterkorn said of the Ingolstadt-based company's goals, adding it plans to introduce a new model or version almost monthly this year.

In mid-March, the new Audi Q7 will be launched on the European market, Winterkorn added.

The largest single export markets in 2005 were the United States with 83,066 units, an increase of 6.6 per cent from 77,917 in 2004; the United Kingdom with 81,374, a gain of 4.5 per cent from 77,882 the year before; and China with 58,878, a 9.6 per cent rise from 53,702 in 2004.

In Europe, Spain registered the biggest growth rate, rising from 43,764 cars to 49,453, a gain of 13 per cent. In France and Italy, the numbers of deliveries rose by 10 per cent each, while in Germany, Audi's home market, 247,125 cars were delivered, up 5.1 per cent from 235,092 cars in 2004.

In eastern Europe, Audi sales rose by 20 per cent while in Russia, Audi posted growth of 49 per cent with 6,115 cars sold in 2005, up from 4,100 in 2004.

Shares of Audi slipped 0.3 per cent to 339.50 euros ($410.56) in Frankfurt trading.

© 2006 The Canadian Press

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Audi says 2005 deliveries of cars up 6.4 per cent from 2004
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