Audi, the top-of-the-range carmaker owned by German auto giant Volkswagen, said on Tuesday it achieved record sales in the first quarter of 2012, thanks to strong demand in China. Audi said it sold 346,100 cars worldwide in the January-March period, up 10.8 percent compared with a year earlier. \"This past quarter was the best in our company\'s history,\" Audi said in a statement. With Chinese sales soaring by 40.5 percent to 90,063 in the three months, Audi also achieved its best quarter ever in China, it said. By contrast, sales in Europe slipped by 0.1 percent to 186,350 vehicles. \"We kicked off 2012 very successfully and expect growth to continue in the months to come,\" board member Peter Schwarzenbauer said.