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Audi says 2012 deliveries rise 11.7 percent to record 1.45 million

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Audi posted record sales last year of 1.45 million luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles, powered by the highest-ever deliveries in the United States and China, the company said on Thursday.

Sales climbed just 0.8 percent in December to 110,400 vehicles, the Ingolstadt-based car maker said, as a 19.2 percent plunge in deliveries in the core European market almost outweighed gains in overseas regions.

German rival BMW , the luxury-market leader, said earlier on Thursday it sold 1.845 million vehicles in 2012, up 10.6 percent compared with 2011. Sales in December stood at 181,571 vehicles, up 14.8 percent.

BMW and Audi have both said they're aiming to increase vehicle sales further this year.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer)