INGOLSTADT, Germany—German luxury-car maker Audi AG NSU.
XE +0.51% is hopeful of reaching 700,000 annual car sales in China earlier than anticipated and aims to sell more than 130,000 cars in the U.S. for the first time this year, as demand for premium vehicles continues to surge.
Audi is the market leader in Chinese premium-car segment, thanks to an early market entry by its parent Volkswagen VOW.XE -1.95% AG. Last year, it overtook Daimler AG's DAI.XE +0.69% Mercedes-Benz brand as the world's second best-selling luxury car maker behind BMW, BMW.XE +2.06% fueled by its large footprint in the fast-growing Chinese market and sales gains in the U.S.
And while China's economy grew at a lower-than-expected 8.1% in the first quarter—its slowest pace in three years—Audi doesn't expect a dramatic slowdown in the Chinese economy.