AUDI AG: Further sales growth strengthens global premium market position in the second quarter
“Given the extremely difficult market situation in Europe, we see our global sales result of April as positive. Especially the USA and China are currently setting the pace for Audi,” says Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. And: “We are further strengthening our position in China with the launch of the locally produced Audi Q3, in a very dynamic segment. Already today, more than every third customer in the Chinese premium market decides in favor of an SUV.”
The Q3 went into local production a few weeks ago at the Changchun site as Audi’s fourth locally produced model alongside the A6 L, A4 L and Q5. The first units of the compact SUV became available in Chinese dealerships in April. Also the new generation of the Q5, a model being extremely popular in China, went into the showrooms last month. Together with the Q7, Audi’s SUV sales in China increased by 31.3 percent to 11,784 units already in April. Also sales of the locally produced A4 L saw strong growth of 19.5 percent to 10,426 units. Across the entire model range, Audi recorded a growth of 13.1 percent to 38,710 cars delivered last month. From January to April, Audi handed 141,520 automobiles over to Chinese customers, an increase of 13.9 percent.
Other markets as well contributed to Audi’s continued dynamic growth in the Asia-Pacific region with strong double-digit growth in April. In Japan for example, the brand with the four rings expanded its business by 36.3 percent to sales of 1,858 cars, in South Korea by 35.7 percent to 1,711 units and in India by 37.0 percent to 770 automobiles.
In Europe, however, Audi was also not able to escape the general economic development: In April, sales in this region decreased by 1.9 percent to around 65,500 premium automobiles. In France, where Audi had achieved sales growth of 13.7 percent in the prior-year month, deliveries this April decreased by a similar percentage (-10.2 percent to 5,648 cars). In Italy, the dip for Audi accounted for 19.4 percent last month, corresponding to 3,920 units sold. In comparison to the prior-year month, this result reflects the negative overall market condition as well as the fact that in April 2012, two new models in the Audi portfolio, the A1 Sportback and the Q3, had just become fully available in this market. While in Germany the sales result of the four rings fell by 3.7 percent to 23,411 cars, especially Russia (+11.1 percent to 3,651 cars) and the UK posted particularly strong growth among the major European sales markets. In the United Kingdom, demand for Audi models increased by 9.4 percent to 10,205 cars in April. As in many other European markets, the successful start of the A3 Sportback and the new-generation Q5 had a positive impact there. In total, European sales for the Audi model range in the first four months of 2013 were at the prior-year level with 253,050 units delivered (+/- 0 percent). This means that the business of AUDI AG in Europe is developing in a much more stable way than the region’s overall market.
In the USA, Audi of America continued its strong performance of the previous months with substantial growth of 14.2 percent to 13,157 deliveries in April. The brand was again particularly successful with its full-size models: 467 customers took delivery of a new Audi A8, 30.4 percent more than in April 2012. This month, the diesel powered version of the brand’s flagship became available at US dealers for the first time. As the year progresses, Audi will expand its TDI offensive in the USA with the A6, the A7 and the Q5. Audi’s second full-size sedan, the A6, also made good headway in the USA last month, with growth of 21.7 percent to 1,905 units sold. Also the brand’s SUVs continue to be extremely popular with US customers: Audi of America recorded 1,183 deliveries of the Q7 in April (plus 33.4 percent), and 3,241 of the Q5 (plus 31.6 percent).
Meanwhile, Mexico has established itself as another growth driver for Audi in North America. With growth of 54.7 percent to 3,553 units sold from January through April, Audi is the leading premium brand in the Mexican market. In April alone, unit sales climbed by 74.8 percent compared with the prior-year month, boosted for example by strong demand for the new A3. As of 2016, Audi will produce the Q5 for the world market in the Mexican city of San José Chiapa; last Saturday, the Board of Management of AUDI AG laid the foundation stone for the new car factory there.