TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG's Audi is on pace to sell more than its stated goal of 150,000 cars and SUVs in the United States this year and will get a boost from diesel models reaching dealerships this month.
U.S. sales of VW's premium brand rose 14 percent to 87,341 through July after increasing 19 percent to a record 139,310 for the entire year in 2012. Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz leads the segment with 165,598 U.S. sales through July, increasing 12 percent from the same months a year earlier.
Globally, Mercedes trails BMW brand and Audi.
"The brand is continuing to get stronger and stronger," Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, said in an interview after a presentation today at the Center for Automotive Research's annual Management Briefing Seminars near Traverse City, Mich.
This year's gains are being helped by Q5 SUV sales, which rose 37 percent through July to 21,486.
Audi is introducing a diesel-powered version of the Q5 this month in the U.S. along with diesel versions of the A6 and A7. An A8 sedan with a diesel engine came out earlier this year.
"That's certainly going to continue to contribute to the growth," Keogh said.