Audi: strongest sales growth ever
“2011 was an unprecedented year in the history of Audi: Never before have we gained so many new customers in a single year,” declared Peter Schwarzenbauer, AUDI AG Board Member for Marketing and Sales. “With our new models in very high demand, business proved better than expected, specifically in Europe and the United States. In the U.S. market we established new sales records in every single month and achieved another clear improvement in our financial result – mainly thanks to the very successful drive in the full-size category.”
Since the market launch of the new-generation A8 and A6 and of the A7 Sportback, more than one in four U.S. customers have opted for a full-size model. Within one year, Audi has thus increased the U.S. sales share of the top-end car lines by more than half. Across all models, Audi sold 117,561 automobiles in the United States last year, a further advance of 15.7 percent on the 2010 figure.
Worldwide, too, the full-size models were instrumental in driving Audi’s growth: Even before the appearance of the new-generation A6 in China, the sedan model’s biggest market, global sales of this car line rose by 12.2 percent to around 229,200 vehicles. The new A6 sedan appeared in its first markets in March, with the Avant, which is especially popular in Europe, following only in the fall. By contrast the A7 Sportback has now been on the market for its first full year, attracting over 31,300 customers worldwide. The brand with the four rings also increased its presence in the full-size category with the Q7, with sales up 21.4 percent on the previous year. Launched at the start of 2010, the brand’s flagship A8 model actually doubled its volume (+101 percent).
At the other end of the model range the Audi A1 brought additional customers into dealerships: In its first full year on sale, Audi delivered around 118,200 of its premium compact car, mainly to customers in Europe. Overall, AUDI AG clearly bucked the market trend in that region with sales climbing 12.2 percent to around 726,300 cars, further bolstering its position as the leading premium brand.
After China, the home market Germany brought the Ingolstadt company its highest growth in absolute terms. 254,011 new cars were handed over to Audi customers in 2011, 10.8 percent more than in 2010. The past year was also particularly successful for Audi in the United Kingdom and France: Unit sales in the UK gained 15.7 percent to 115,345, and Audi France sold 62,009 vehicles, a rise of 18.1 percent, taking it past the 60,000 mark for the first time. Moreover, despite the difficult market conditions Audi at least matched the previous year’s deliveries totals in Spain (+3.4 percent) and Italy (+0.03 percent). In all its other top-ten markets worldwide, the Company achieved a double-digit sales increase on 2010, with Russia, too, performing much more strongly than in the previous year with 25.6 percent growth and unit sales of 23,250 making it the growth leader in Eastern Europe.
Audi’s growth of 37.3 percent in China was attributable both to the surge in demand for the brand’s imported models and to the completion of the Changchun plant’s expansion midway through the year, creating extra production capacity. Audi sold 313,036 autos to Chinese customers in 2011, enabling the brand with the four rings to substantially increase its lead in the premium segment yet again.
Emerging growth markets such as South Korea (+30.9% to 10,346 cars) and South Africa (+20.4% to 14,523) have also continued to gain in importance for Audi over the past few months. These two markets combined now account for as many unit sales as the brand achieves in Russia. In South America, Mexico (+46.8%) and Brazil (+68.0%) stood out for their particularly high growth rates in 2011. Audi’s growth in India was even steeper: Sales there soared by 83.5 percent to 5,511 cars, the highest growth rate of any premium brand in the market.