VW's Audi aims to raise China sales with revamped A4
* All-new A4 to debut at Frankfurt auto show on Sept. 14
* A4 to lag behind BMW, Mercedes model sales 2014-2020 -IHS
By Andreas Cremer
BERLIN, July 27 (Reuters) - Audi hopes that the redesigned top-selling A4 saloon will shore up its fortunes in China where the premium brand is grappling with dwindling sales and a leadership change.
Global carmakers have come under pressure to raise their game in the world's biggest auto market where an anti-corruption drive, a slowing economy and tumbling stocks are weighing on sales.
Volkswagen's flagship division will court Chinese buyers with a lighter and more fuel-efficient version of the A4, which last year added a fifth to Audi's global output of 1.8 million cars, Audi product manager Jens Kotnik said.
"The A4 is a crucial pillar of our global growth strategy," Kotnik said in an interview. "It's a key model for Audi, especially in our main markets China, Europe and North America."
Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi has a goal to wrest the luxury-sales crown away from BMW by the end of the decade, in a three-way contest that also includes Mercedes-Benz .
The all-new A4, which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in September and go on sale in Europe in November, will compete with an upgraded version of BMW's entry-level 3-Series and a redesigned Mercedes C-Class that came to market last year. Continuación...