Audi continues strong growth in North America in February
Photo: Joel Boucher
“The year has begun very successfully for Audi considering the very difficult market situation in Europe and noticeable special effects in February,” says Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Sales and Marketing. “We want to stay our course in upcoming months and benefit from the rollout of the new A3 Sportback in the international markets.”
For Audi, the month of February was marked by the model changeover of the strong- selling A3 Sportback in many key markets. In Europe alone, two-thirds of all A3 customers have traditionally chosen the five-door version. This makes the A3 Sportback the best-selling body variant of Audi’s entire model line-up in the region. Despite the changeover to the new A3 Sportback generation, Audi was still able to repeat the delivery totals of the previous February across all models in a strained European market; up 0.1 percent to around 54,900 cars sold in February. Above all, further increasing demand for the A4 Avant and the new-generation Q5 bolstered business for the four rings on its home continent. Globally, the A1 and the Q3 showed strong gains as well; sales figures for the compact SUV at around 8,300 units sold were 41.6 percent higher than in the same month last year.
Among the European markets, Audi attained particularly high growth rates in many Scandinavian countries in February – such as Sweden with an 18.2 percent gain to 1,484 cars compared to February 2012 and Denmark with a 28.7 percent increase to 655 deliveries. Switzerland (+13.2% to 1,641 cars) and Russia (+20.2% to 2,800 cars) also reported strong growth. In Spain, Audi also closed the month of February with a gain over the prior year, with a 3.3 percent increase to 4,082 automobiles. In France, the company delivered 5,368 cars last month, which was 5.1 percent fewer than in February 2012. In Italy, Audi delivered 3,622 cars (-9.5%). In the difficult market environments of these two countries, the Ingolstadt-based company confirmed its leadership role in the premium segment over the first two months of the year. In its two largest European sales markets, Germany (+0.2% to 19,804 cars) and United Kingdom (+7.3% to 4,451 cars), AUDI AG surpassed the strong sales of the same month last year. From January to February, deliveries increased by 4.8 percent in Germany and by 12.7 percent in the UK. In Europe as a whole, the premium carmaker sold 4.0 percent more vehicles in the first two months.
In February, the company resumed its record-setting pace in the USA as well: 10,877 delivered automobiles represent 27.5 percent growth and set a monthly record for the 26th consecutive month. Generating especially strong customer traffic at US dealers were the SUVs with the four rings. The new generation of the Q5 showed 57.0 percent growth compared to the same month in the prior year, and Q7 sales climbed by 146.6 percent. Ever popular among US drivers are the especially sporty models of the full-size sedans offered by Audi. The new editions of the S6 and the S8 that launched last fall contributed significantly to sustained strong growth of the A6 family (+40.9%) and the A8 (+22.3%) in the USA in February.
In China, the second home market of the Ingolstadt-based company, last month was strongly influenced by New Year celebrations lasting one week. While the holiday fell in January last year, this year there were correspondingly fewer sales days in the already short month of February when compared with the same period in 2012. Nonetheless, Audi surpassed the 30,000 unit mark and recorded 30,268 deliveries, which represented a 3.5 percent dip compared to February 2012. Audi’s cumulative sales in China since the start of the year amounted to 67,946 cars, which is 16.0 percent more than for the same period in the previous year.
In many other markets of the Asia-Pacific region, Audi sales rose sharply also in February – in Japan, for example, where the A1 Sportback and the Q3 in particular helped to increase Audi sales by 42.4 percent to 2,290 units. Audi also recorded double-digit gains in South Korea (+34.3% to 1,352 cars), Australia (+18.2% to 1,418 cars) and India (+29.2% to 775 cars).