For the first time in history, Audi has outsold its closest German-based luxury rival, Mercedes-Benz.
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The numbers are convincing too, with Audi selling 264,100 vehicles worldwide in the first-quarter of 2010 against Mercedes-Benz's 248,500 units in the same period.

Audi has said for some time now that it aims to become the world's leading luxury car manufacturer by 2015. To achieve this goal, it must first surpass German rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW, as well as Toyota's luxury-arm, Japanese-based Lexus. Today's news indicates it is now at least a quarter of the way there.

According to a recent report published by Autocar, the main contributor in Audi's successful overtaking of Mercedes-Benz lies with strong sales in the Chinese market. Audi sells 20 per cent of all cars it produces to China, the figure more than double that of Mercedes-Benz. And, as the Chinese market continues to grow, Audi's sales dominance looks likely to continue.

BMW has yet to release its final first-quarter sales figures.