Audi is increasing production of its new A1 supermini to meet the strong initial demand.
The firm’s sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer has also confirmed plans for Audi to sell the A1 outside Europe, despite initially rejecting the idea, although China and the US won’t get the car until later on in the car's production run.
Schwarzenbauer said production had been increased by 20 per cent at the A1’s Brussels plant; the firm had originally planned to build 100,000 units per year from 2012. A total of 50,000 had been planned to be built this year when production started in May and 80,000 in 2011.
He added that the firm had more than 150,000 interested customers in the A1 from around the world via a website Audi had set up and this had convinced the firm to expand sales outside of Europe.
But he said sales would not start in the US until the car’s second-generation “at the earliest” and Chinese sales would start some time after 2011.
The Mini-rivalling A1 is already poised to become the biggest-selling car in the firm’s history and will launch in the UK in October, priced from £13,145.
Schwarzenbauer said earlier this year that initial A1 demand was likely to outstrip supply and 90 per cent of buyers were new to the new Audi brand.