German carmaker Audi is confident in China’s premium car market, after delivering a record number of vehicles in the country last year, said executives at its local joint venture on Friday.

Marco Schubert, president of FAW-Volkswagen’s Audi division, said there will be a few challenges for 2021, with a widening gap in competition, a market becoming more digitalized and consumer demand becoming more personalized.

Yet he said the premium vehicle market will still show positive growth this year and Audi will launch 33 new or revised models, including many China-specific products, in efforts to strengthen its competitive edge.

The premium brand sold 726,288 vehicles in 2020, an increase of 5.4 percent year-on-year. Of them, 674,700 were produced in China, up 7 percent year-on-year. China was the only country where it saw positive growth last year.

Sun Huibin, executive vice-president of FAW-Volkswagen’s Audi sales division, attributed the positive sales results to the new models, online promotions and China’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Audi has now 6.6 million customers in China, and is the first premium car brand to hit this figure, according to the carmaker.

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