Audi reports profit in 2008, warns 2009 is going to be bad

Audi announced that its sales and operating profits were up in 2008, but warned that 2009 may be the worst year ever for the company due to the economic downturn.

“2009 will probably be the most difficult year in the history of the automotive industry,” Audi said in its annual report published today. “There remains no need for external sources of financing.”

The Ingolstadt automaker said that the operating profits were up 2.5 percent to 2.8 billion euros ($3.6 billion).

Audi said that with the help of the new Audi A4 and the new Audi Q5, it sold 4.1 percent more cars in 2008. Sales reached just over 1 million units from 964,151 in 2007.

Eastern Europe was the company’s strongest market with an increase of 18.4 percent in sales to 42,693 cars.┬áChina also reported strong sales with an increase of 17 percent to 119,598 cars. Western Europe saw an increase of 2.5 percent with an increase of 1.6 percent in Germany alone. However, U.S. sales declined 6 percent to 87,760 cars.