Not only the European Union is expanding eastwards: Audi too is making its presence clearly felt in the region of Eastern Europe. This is reflected, for example, in the Ingolstadt company’s sales figures in this region in 2003: vehicle sales were up 11.2 percent compared with the previous year to 14,374 units (12,931). The region of Eastern Europe, which as far as Audi is concerned comprises the countries of Russia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Poland, the Ukraine and the Baltic states, is thus becoming the biggest growth market for Audi in Europe. “There is still tremendous potential in this region. And in view of the favourable economic situation, we are expecting substantial growth over the next few years,” commented Ralph Weyler, Member of the Audi Board for Sales and Marketing.
Audi’s success story in the region is particularly remarkable in Russia, where the company increased its sales in 2003 by 15.2 percent to 3,111 vehicles. The Russian market is one of the biggest sales markets worldwide for the new Audi A8. The company is able to depend on an excellent sales structure in Russia: Audi is represented by an exclusive dealer network comprising 20 dealers at present, with plans to expand this to 45 dealers in the next few years. Audi dealers will invest more than 100 million in the Russian dealer network over the next five years. Audi, moreover, is the only premium manufacturer to have its own training centre in Russia; sales and service staff are trained here to the highest standards.
Audi is also very successful on the Czech market. In the first year after its launch, the Audi A8 enjoyed a convincing premiere on this market, with sales totalling 192 models. Audi is the market leader in the premium segment in the Czech Republic where it boosted its total sales in 2003 by 32 percent to 1,865 vehicles.