Porsche, Audi and Bentley – Volkswagen’s luxury brands – have posted record sales in 2013 helped by new model launches and a recovery in the global car market.
Porsche’s deliveries jumped 15%, Audi’s 8.3% and Bentley posted a growth of 19% in 2013, from a year earlier.
Demand for luxury cars has been growing in emerging markets such as China and India amid rising income levels.
Carmakers have also benefited from a recovery in demand from the US, one of the biggest markets for luxury cars.
Audi’s sales jumped 13.5% in the US during the period, from a year ago, while Porsche saw a growth of 21%. Bentley deliveries in the US rose 28%.
China was the other major growth market for the firm, with both Audi and Porsche posting nearly 20% growth.
However, Bentley’s sales in China declined 3% from a year ago.
VW has set its sights on becoming the world’s biggest carmaker by 2018.
The latest figures are likely to provide a big boost to VW’s ambitions.
Overall, Audi sold 1.57 million cars and sport-utility vehicles globally last year, Porsche sold 162,145 vehicles and Bentley’s sales totaled 10,120 units.
“We set an important milestone for Audi in the past year: We achieved our intermediate strategic goal of 1.5 million deliveries two years earlier than planned, and in fact comfortably exceeded it,” Rupert Stadler, chairman of Audi, said in a statement.
“This means that in the past four years alone, Audi has attracted more than 600,000 new customers.”
The numbers by Volkswagen come at a time when the global car market has been recovering from the slump seen in the years after the global financial crisis.
Data released on Thursday showed that car sales in China – the world’s biggest car market – rose 14% in 2013, from a year ago. That compares to an annual growth rate of less than 5% seen in the previous two year.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers 21.98 million vehicles were sold in China last year.
Analysts also expect 2013 to be the best year for US auto market since 2007, with total annual sales expected to reach nearly 15.6 million units.
If that figure is met, it would mark a strong recovery from 2009 when sales fell to 10.4 million during the depths of the recession.