Audi sales in China helped parent company Volkswagen AG become the biggest seller in that crucial market during the third quarter, it was reported today, moving VW one step closer toward its goal of becoming the global sales-volume leader in the industry.

After trailing General Motors in China for eight years, Volkswagen edged ahead in third-quarter sales, with the company’s deliveries jumping by 21 percent during the period – almost triple GM’s growth, according to Automotive News Europe.

Among the highlights of VW’s performance was the introduction of a new Audi A4L sedan in China during the period, as well as the launch of the VW Lavida, the newspaper said.

“By comparison,” the publication said, “most GM sedans were introduced two to three years ago and are reaching the end of their product life cycles, making them less attractive to car buyers, according to researcher LMC Automotive.”

Those aging GM models include sales of Cadillac, an Audi competitor in China, which fell for a sixth straight month, according to the newspaper. Meanwhile, sales of Buick – a brand for which GM has great ambitions in that market – tumbled the most since at least 2010.