July 08, 2013

Audi AG achieves best first half-year global sales in company history

Audi AG posted its best first half-year sales total in the company's history due year-on-year growth of 6.4 per cent. Worldwide, the company handed over some 780,500 cars to customers in the first six months. Audi deliveries in June rose again to around 140,300
cars, representing an increase of 5.5 per cent year-on-year. The premium brand made particularly strong gains in China, with sales up 33.5 per cent. Sales in the United Kingdom (+14.3 per cent) and the United States (+8.2 per cent) also fostered growth for Audi in June.

"The new A3 and the Q3 and Q5 SUV models in particular contributed significantly to our sustained global sales growth in the first half of the year. We have clearly exceeded the 2012 figure for deliveries, despite a much more difficult environment in many key markets at present," said Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management for Sales at Audi AG. "In the second half of the year, the A3 Sedan will make an impact in the first markets. This model will play a decisive role in continuing the A3 success story."

As new member of the model family, the A3 Sedan will go on sale from September in Europe, with the market launch in China and the United States to follow in 2014. In both countries, the sedan is the most popular body type in the premium market, with around 50 per cent of customers opting for a car with a notchback.

In the United States, the Audi Q5 played a significant role in helping Audi of America post new record figures again each month in the first half of the year. 13,706 deliveries and a 8.2 per cent increase in sales made June 2013 the second-best sales month in the history of the four rings in the United States. In the first six months, total Audi sales in the United States rose by 14 per cent to 74,277 units, while sales of the Q5 increased by 35.2 per cent to 18,310. In the second half of the year, the highly popular model will also go on sale at US dealers as a TDI clean diesel and as the high-performance SQ5 TFSI. In addition to the United States, the Mexican market in particular accelerated growth for Audi in North America: In the first half of the year, 5,619 customers in Mexico took delivery of a new Audi - an increase of 45.5 per cent.

In Europe, however, Audi faced an increasingly difficult economic environment in the first half of 2013. Sales of around 383,700 cars were 2.5 per cent down on the record figure posted in 2012. Nonetheless, Audi's business proved far more stable than the market as a whole. Among the major markets, the United Kingdom in particular developed positively: Audi UK sold 74,051 cars from January through June - an increase of 11.9 per cent; SUV sales alone increased by 82.7 per cent in the United Kingdom. In Switzerland too, Audi continued to surge ahead, increasing cumulative sales by 4.5 per cent to 9,537 cars. In Germany, however, total sales fell by 4.3 per cent to 128,345 cars. The high basis for comparison from 2012 had a notable effect there, particularly with regard to figures for the past month: While sales rose sharply by 14.6 percent in June 2012, they now fell by a similar margin.

Market conditions remain especially challenging in those economies hit hard by the European debt and economic crisis: In France (-8.6 per cent to 30,218 cars), Italy (-9.8 per cent to 24,825 cars) and Spain (-3.1 per cent to 21,085 cars) fewer customers bought an Audi in the first six months than one year previously. In all three markets Audi AG reaffirmed its position as the leading premium manufacturer.

The company continued to increase deliveries in Eastern Europe - primarily in Russia where 18,181 cars were sold in the first half of the year, representing an increase of 9.8 per cent.

In China, a strong surge in deliveries of 33.5 per cent to 44,479 cars in June took Audi sales past the 200,000 mark for the first time at the midyear stage. 228,139 Chinese customers took delivery of their new Audi between January and June - an increase of 17.7 per cent year-on-year. Local production of the Q3, which had started in April, provided an additional boost there. July will see Audi celebrate a very special milestone in China when the brand with the four rings marks its 25th anniversary in the Middle Kingdom. The company can look back on 25 years as the undisputed market leader in the premium segment in China.

Audi also performed extremely well in many other markets in the Asia Pacific region. In the first six months, Japan saw sales increase by 20.9 per cent to 14,456 deliveries, posting the strongest growth in Audi AG's ten largest sales markets - and all that prior to the market launch of the new A3 generation. Sales grew even faster in South Korea, with 9,355 cars handed over to customers, an increase of 30 per cent. In India too, Audi AG managed to further extend its position in the market by delivering 4,846 cars through to the end of June - an increase of 21.2 per cent.


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