AUDI AG: prior-year sales total exceeded after 11 months
Audi continues to grow at a double-digit rate: In November, the Company’s worldwide deliveries were up 10.9 percent on the same month of 2011 to around 123,600 automobiles. Since January, the premium carmaker has handed over around 1,344,750 cars (+12.7%) to customers and has thus already exceeded last year’s record sales after 11 months of the current year. Sales for the whole of 2011 reached 1,302,659 units. Amid difficult market conditions, Audi ended the past month in Europe marginally down on the strong prior-year level (-1.9%). Audi’s sales total for Europe is up 3.5 percent for the period January through November. In all other regions, the Ingolstadt carmaker again achieved significant growth in November, most notably in China (up 25.9%) and the United States (up 24.4%).
“We are experiencing strong demand in the United States: Audi is growing clearly faster than the U.S. market as a whole, especially in the prestigious full-size class,” says Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Sales and Marketing: “We will massively expand our successful U.S. diesel range into the full-size class next year with TDI clean diesel versions of the A6, A7 and A8.” A TDI version of the Audi Q5, which is very popular among U.S. customers, will also go on sale in 2013. This efficiency technology has been available in the United States for the Audi A3 and Q7 since 2009. At present, around one-third of Q7 customers in the United States choose a TDI, and an impressive half of all A3 customers – much higher levels than forecast at the time of their market launch.
Audi of America saw the sales totals for all models increase by 18.6 percent to 124,469 cars between January and November; for the A6, A7 Sportback, Q7 and A8 full-size models, the cumulative growth rate reached 42.0 percent. November’s rise in sales for the four rings of 24.4 percent to 12,067 units was also driven by high demand for the A4 and A5 family and for the Q5. The SUV’s new-generation including the Q5 hybrid quattro was fully available on the U.S. market for the first time in November.
In China Audi enjoyed its most successful sales month ever, with 37,600 automobiles delivered. The 25.9 percent sales increase compared with the prior-year month was driven mainly by the locally built Q5 and A6 L models. For the first 11 months of the year, the premium manufacturer’s unit sales in China thus climbed 30.7 percent to 370,559 cars. November brought growth rates comfortably into double figures in many other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, for instance in Japan (+26.1% to 2,050 cars), South Korea (+57.6% to 1,418 cars) and especially India, where Audi started local production of the Q7 at the start of the month. The Ingolstadt-based company delivered 805 premium automobiles to customers in India, 89.4 percent up on one year earlier.
In the home market Germany, Audi didn’t quite reach the prior-year month’s strong deliveries total with sales down 4.3 percent to 24,023 cars. In November of last year, the full availability of the new A6 family following the launch of the Avant in fall 2011 had given Audi’s sales in Germany an added lift. Cumulatively, Audi sold 246,250 cars in the German market over the past 11 months of the current year; that is an increase of 5.9 percent on the same period of 2011.
Despite the difficult economic environment in important European markets, the brand’s November performance on the European export markets was on a par with the previous year’s strong month (-0.2% to around 34,700 cars). Audi registered growth especially in the UK (+7.7% to 8,178 cars), Belgium (+13.9% to 2,496 cars) and Russia, where deliveries were up 62.7 percent on the prior-year month. 2,930 units sold to Russian customers in November took total sales since the start of the year to 31,318 automobiles – the brand has consequently broken through the 30,000 barrier in Russia for the first time in the history of AUDI AG. November sales figures were however down in Spain (-14.3% to 2,389 cars) and Italy (-18.9% to 3,490 cars). In France, too, the economic situation adversely affected demand for cars in the past month; with Audi deliveries reaching 4,983 cars, November was 11.0 percent down on the prior-year month. Over the year to date, the Ingolstadt company has sold slightly more than 57,000 cars in France as in the corresponding period of 2011, thus confirming its position as the leading premium brand in the market. In Europe as a whole, Audi experienced a slight sales dip of 1.9 percent in November to around 58,750 units – yet again, a stable performance compared to the market as a whole. Over the period January through November Audi bucked the trend in the contracting European car market and increased deliveries on the Company’s home continent by 3.5 percent to around 693,850 cars.
Worldwide sales growth for Audi in November was fueled especially by the brand’s SUV models. Alongside the Q3, Q5 and Q7, the new A3 three-door version attracted extra customers to dealerships: The compact model, which went on sale in its first markets at the end of August, improved on its predecessor’s delivery total for November 2011 by almost half.