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Audi clear premium market leader in Europe

  • Over 705,000 cars delivered from January through September
  • Record month in China: up 36.5 percent
  • Audi set to achieve target of about 900,000 vehicles for 2009
  • Sales Chief Schwarzenbauer: ‘Sales developed better than expected’

AUDI AG sold around 705,300 cars worldwide from January through September. The cumulative result is thus a mere 7.5 percent behind last year’s record (2008: 762,288 cars) in a situation that continues to be difficult. In the first three quarters of the year, the company’s unit sales were ahead of the projected figures, with Audi aiming to deliver approximately 900,000 cars to customers in 2009 as a whole. In September the company delivered around 88,600 cars, with sales remaining some 6.8 percent behind the strong figures of last September (2008: 95,136). The company recorded high growth in the BRIC countries, especially in China. Other emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region have also improved significantly on last year.

‘Our unit sales developed better than expected during the first three quarters of the year,’ says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. ‘In the United States we’ve consolidated our position, and in China we’ve reasserted our leadership. And the current figures confirm our position as Europe’s leading premium brand. We have been able to significantly strengthen our brand during these months.’ As the registration statistics of the European manufacturer’s organization ACEA show, Audi is the clear market leader in terms of new car registrations in the overall European premium segment.

With regard to the year as a whole, Schwarzenbauer reconfirmed that the brand still aims to achieve the unit sales target stated in January. In 2009 AUDI AG plans to sell about 900,000 vehicles.

In its second domestic market, China (including Hong Kong), AUDI AG increased its unit sales between January and September by 19.7 percent to 108,859 cars (2008: 90,934). In September itself 15,249 customers bought an Audi here – a year-on-year increase of 36.5 percent (2008: 11,169).

For the overall Asia-Pacific region the company recorded a growth of 17.2 percent to 138,523 cars (2008: 118,178). In September alone sales again increased by 31.4 percent to 19,501 cars (2008: 14,842). Besides China, strong growth especially in the Australian, South Korean and Indian markets played a role.

In the United States Audi fared significantly better than the premium market. With 59,518 cars sold, unit sales between January and September lay only 9.6 percent below those of the preceding year (2008: 65,817), while the overall premium market (Import High Group) suffered a decline of 26.7 percent. With 7,209 cars sold, unit sales declined in September by a mere 4.9 percent. Due to these comparatively good results, the Ingolstadt carmaker was able to significantly expand its market share: During the first nine months its share in the premium market grew by 1.6 percentage points to 8.3 percent. Meanwhile Audi achieved strong growth in Canada: Here the brand sold 25.3 percent more cars from January through September than in the preceding year (8,423 cars; 2008: 6,720). In September 1,111 cars were sold – 17.1 percent more than in September 2008.

Audi also exhibited an upward trend in its Western Europe export markets (Western Europe excluding Germany). Over the first nine months the unit sales of 278,582 cars were 13 percent behind the preceding year’s results (2008: 320,371). September brought a decline of 9.0 percent with 38,318 cars sold (2008: 42,119). Altogether Audi fared better than the overall market and was able to increase its market share from 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent over the last nine months. AUDI AG was able to consolidate its position and gain shares above all in Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

With 167,422 units sold, the sales figures in Germany for January to September were 10.2 percent behind the preceding year’s results (2008: 186,464). Owing above all to extended plant shutdowns in August, the German delivery figures in September dropped by 27.7 percent to 16,044 cars.

– Audi AG

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