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Audi post strong sales growth in the United States and most successful premium brand in Western Europe

  • Second-best August in the history of Audi of America
  • Sales growth of 35.4 percent in China
  • Audi is most attractive car brand in Germany
  • Marketing and Sales Chief Schwarzenbauer: ‘We will emerge from the crisis as the strongest premium brand’

Sales figures for AUDI AG rose sharply in August in both North America and the region Asian-Pacific. In Europe, the Audi brand once again strengthened its position and remained Western Europe’s most successful premium brand over the first eight months of the year. Worldwide, AUDI AG sold around 65,900 premium cars in August – down just 2.7 percent on the same month last year (2008: 67,723). Form January until August, sales figures were 7.5 percent lower than the previous year, with around 616,850 cars sold.

‘We set ourselves a sales target of 900,000 cars this year, thus achieving a better trend than the overall market,’ said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. ‘This target we are certain to reach, and we will emerge from this crisis as the strongest premium brand.’

Audi’s strong position in the region Asian-Pacific has proven crucial to the success of the company. Sales figures in August for the entire region rose by 33 percent to about 16,500 cars (2008: 12,412); over the first eight months, Audi delivered a cumulative total of about 119,000 cars – a 15.2 percent increase (2008: 103,336). Audi achieved significant growth in Australia (1,018 cars, up 35.6 percent), Japan (1,015 cars, up 7.1 percent) and South Korea (490 cars, up 26 percent). In China alone (including Hong Kong), where Audi has led the premium market for the past 21 years, the company sold 13,345 cars in August, a 35.4 percent increase (2008: 9,853). Over the first eight months of the year, the Ingolstadt-based company sold 93,610 cars in China, 17.4 percent more than in the same period last year. According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, the company aims to achieve total-year sales in China of more than 130,000 cars for the first time.

Sales figures for AUDI AG in August also went up significantly in the United States. Despite continuing tension on the US market, Audi achieved its second-best results for August in the history of Audi of America: 8,057 customers chose a model from Ingolstadt during the past month – 25.8 percent more than in the same month last year (2008: 6,406). This made Audi the premium brand with the strongest performance on the US market in August. Cumulatively, Audi’s sales figures are now at 10.2 percent below those for last year in the US, at 52,309 cars (2008: 58,233). With this result, Audi is right on track to achieve its 2009 target in the United States as well.

‘The right models, significant investments in the dealership network, focused marketing activities – we put everything into boosting our brand’s potential in the United States last year,’ Schwarzenbauer said. ‘Now this is paying off in significant gains in market share, in better brand awareness and image levels, and in healthy, profitable sales growth.’

Over the first eight months, Audi increased its share of the US premium market (Import High Group) to 8.2 percent (2008: 6.5 percent). The Audi Q5 and Audi A5 proved especially successful; sales figures for the A4 Cabriolet doubled from the previous year’s level.

In Germany, Audi was recently voted to be the most attractive car brand on the market – the result of a representative survey by the GfK Institute. Customer affinity for the brand was reflected in correspondingly strong new-car registrations in the first eight months of the year. With 161,088 cars registered, the figures were just 1.2 percent below the record levels of 2008 (2008: 163,150 cars), and developed significantly better than those of competing premium brands. Due to extended vacations at the German plants in August, Audi produced considerably fewer cars in August than in the same period last year. As a result, new-car registrations in Germany were 16.3 percent below those of August 2008 (15,064 cars; 2008: 17,995 cars).

Deliveries to European countries outside Germany were also affected by the lower production levels, remaining 13.6 percent behind the same month last year, with about 22,850 cars delivered (2008: 26,441 cars). Over the first eight months, sales levels were 15 percent behind those of the previous year (2008: 307,531 cars) with about 261,350 cars sold. Still, Audi experienced better growth than its competitors in critical markets. The company gained important market share between January and August in Great Britain, Spain and Italy – and confirmed its position as Western Europe’s strongest premium brand.”

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