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Audi puts VW in car sales fast lane


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Audi puts VW in car sales fast lane

Audi is the car sales star so far this year helping its parent company Volkswagen pull away from European rivals.

Audi’s sales were up by 26 percent and profit by 27 percent in the first quarter.

As a result VW, whose marques include Skoda and Seat, made a 3.2 billion euro profit for the period.

VW’s sales in the United States rose by 34 percent and in Russia by 77 percent.

Announcing the results, Europe’s biggest carmaker stood by its goal to increase vehicle deliveries beyond last year’s record 8.3 million vehicles.

By contrast Fiat said its revenue from mass market car sales in Europe slumped 13.1 percent and it posted a trading loss of 207 million euros.

But that was offset by a stellar performance from Chrysler, of which Fiat owns 58.5 percent.

Fiat’s group trading profit – including Chrysler – was 866 million euros.

Chrysler’s sales jumped by a third worldwide and by 36 percent in the US, which led Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of both Chrysler and Fiat, to say he was “incredibly pleased by the excellent performance”.

“Another positive quarter – built on sales gains that have surpassed the industry average – is affirmation that the
Chrysler team is maintaining its focus,” Marchionne added.

The results show Fiat-Chrysler continues to be a “two speed” company, with sharply different performances between the Italian and US units.

When Fiat took management control of Chrysler in 2009, analysts said the US automaker would be a major drag. Instead it has become Fiat’s chief source of strength.

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