FRANKFURT (AP) -- German carmaker Audi AG said Monday that its global sales fell 11 percent in March, with the U.S. and Western Europe showing the sharpest declines while results elsewhere improved.
Ingolstadt-based Audi, a unit of Volkswagen AG, said it sold 90,400 vehicles in March, compared with 101,251 in March 2008. However, it said there were positive signs for the future.
Thanks in part to the launch of the Q5 car-SUV crossover, "our order intake is now significantly increasing," Peter Schwarzenbauer, a board member responsible for sales and marketing, said in a statement. The company did not immediately provide figures.
"The trend is positive," he added. "Our monthly results have been continually improving since January, a difficult month for everybody."
In March, sales in the Asia-Pacific region were up 5 percent to 15,600 vehicles. Sales in China improved 7 percent, with 11,848 cars sold.
In the U.S., however, sales fell nearly 20 percent -- with 6,433 cars sold, down from 7,986 in March 2008.
Despite the decline, Audi said it was able to increase its market share in the U.S. premium segment by 1.3 percentage points to 7.8 percent.
In Canada, sales were up 25 percent in March to 979 vehicles sold.
Western European sales were down 13 percent, but there were gains in some individual markets such as Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The company sold 61,200 cars in western Europe last month, down from 70,269 in March 2008.
Shares of Audi closed down 1.7 percent at €334.5 ($447) in Frankfurt. Shares of Volkswagen ended up 1.2 percent at €238.02 ($318).