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Hot Audi sales kick RS Down Under

Selling fast: Well-heeled Audi customers are tearing out of showrooms in tarmac shredders like the V8-powered Audi RS4 Avant.

Aussies bought more high-po Audis in first half of 2014 than whole of 2013

25 Aug 2014

AUSTRALIAN Audi showrooms have never been busier, especially the corner where all the high-performance S, RS and R8 models are displayed.

The German luxury brand is enjoying its tenth consecutive year of growth in Australia, with a record 1800 deliveries in June, sales up more than 18 per cent year-to-date and its sights firmly set on toppling the BMW/Mercedes-Benz establishment for number one spot in the premium car market.

But with a forecast of 19,000 deliveries by years’ end, it will not happen this year – BMW and Benz both sold more than 20,000 cars in 2013 and those brands are also experiencing healthy sales growth.

Speaking with GoAuto at a media event on Hamilton Island last week, Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle said the richer mix of high-end sports models is “a great sign for the brand”.

Audi’s performance stable expanded dramatically in the past 12 or so months, with the facelifted R8 sportscar, S8 super-limo, hot SQ5 and RSQ3 SUVs, the S3 hot hatch and sedan pair, RS5 cabriolet, RS6 Avant mega-wagon and the RS7 four-dour coupe all joining the range.

“We having a very good healthy sales mix into S and RS models,” said Mr Doyle. “The preference of many of our customers now is for high-performance Audis.”

Mr Doyle attributed the shift to the increased number of models available but also to Audi’s marketing efforts and motorsport credentials.

“We’re not afraid to talk a bit more about it so we’ve done quite a bit with the press, we’ve done quite a bit of advertising … I think things like Le Mans really remind everyone the heritage Audi has in motorsport, and what a great brand it is when it comes to what we develop through quattro GmbH.”

Against a premium market up 13 per cent so far this year and an overall market down 2.1 per cent, Audi’s 18.1 per cent growth figure shows what inroads the brand is making towards its goal of dominating Australia’s luxury car market.

“We’re growing faster than even the premium market and certainly faster than the overall market, which is flat and more importantly for us, faster than our nearest competitors,” said Mr Doyle.

“We’re on track for our tenth consecutive year of growth and we are forecasting that we will continue at around 18 per cent growth for the rest of the year and finish over 19,000 vehicles.”

The elephant in the room is the new Mercedes C-Class that hit local showrooms this week, an all-new version of a model that not only dominates the premium market but often outsells some serious contenders in the non-premium medium car segment.

“For us it’s about sustainable growth and that’s a big part of our strategy,” said Mr Doyle. “That growth really is across the range, many models and not just our highly successful SUVs and A3 Sportback and A3 range.”

So far this year the A3 is Audi’s biggest seller with 2430 units, up 158.2 per cent, followed by the Q5 on 1918 units (up 8.5 per cent) and Q3 (1745 units, down 7.2 per cent).

The A4 is sitting flat on 1614 sales, with the next most popular model being the A1 city hatch on 1084 sales, up 20.6 per cent, followed by the ageing Q7 SUV on 874 sales, down 4.2 per cent.

While sales of the A5 coupe and convertible are down 2.9 per cent on 372 units, the A5 Sportback is up 5.1 per cent with 433 sales and the A6 sedan/wagon range is doing well with 29.1 per cent growth against 382 sales.

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