Audi's sales hit a new high in China in September, continuing the momentum it has seen this year so far, despite the slowing down of the passenger car segment in the country.
The brand sold 65,588 vehicles in the month, up 13 percent year-on-year, according to its Chinese joint venture, FAW-Volkswagen. Of these, models produced in China stood at 58,690 units, 89.5 percent of the total sales in the month.
China's breakaway performance, which accounted for an astonishing 47 percent of Audi's global sales, was however one of the carmaker's few sales highlights internationally.
Its worldwide sales in September suffered a 22 percent drop to 139,400 units because of fluctuations in the European market. Audi said one of the strongest growth engines in China last month was once again the A4L, whose sales grew 42 percent to 16,714 cars. The A6L consolidated its leading position in its segment with 13,405 units sold in the month.
From January to September Audi's deliveries in China totaled 481,387 units, up 15.5 percent from the same period last year, achieving a new record-breaking figure in the company's history.
One of the driving forces of Audi's performance is its new models this year. Following the A8L and the Q5L's launch in the first half of the year, the Q2L and the A7 are expected to drive up sales further in the country, according to the carmaker.
The Q2L, which was launched on Saturday, is the smallest model in Audi's rapidly expanding Q family. With five variants, it is targeted at young people growing up in the age of the internet who want to buy their first ever premium car.
Compared with the standard wheelbase version, the Q2L has had its wheelbase extended by 33 millimeters, offering more legroom which the manufacturer says appeals to Chinese customers.
It is available in 10 colors, and sports a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and a seven-speed S-tronic gearbox. The model offers five driving modes for those with different driving habits.
Inside, features include a 12.3-inch liquid crystal display dashboard, as well as onboard WiFi, among other things.
Jing Qingchun, executive vice-president of FAW-Volkswagen's Audi sales division, said the model's all-new design, smart technology and driving experience will make it a popular choice for younger drivers.
Premium SUVs have been growing steadily in China. In the first nine months, one in three Chinese Audi customers bought a sporty SUV, according to Audi.
This is also one of the reasons that Audi has decided to offer two models in the same segment－the Q2L and the Q3－to seize a bigger market share. Audi says the two models will complement each other: while the Q3 is more focused on family use, the Q2L targets young individualists who would like to show their personality.
Liu Yigong, president of FAW-Volkswagen, said the company will introduce the pure electric Q2 into the Chinese market as well, in 2019.