China and North America substantially boost Audi sales in January
•Around 149,100 deliveries worldwide, up 20.3 percent
•Sales chief Bram Schot: “Good start to the new year”
•Deliveries of the A4/A5 family increase by half
Audi kicked off 2018 with substantial sales growth. In January, the brand delivered around 149,100 premium automobiles to customers worldwide, up 20.3 percent year-on-year. A sharp increase in China (+73.0%) in particular was a key factor, contrasting with the slowdown in sales a year ago as the company negotiated with its local partners. The brand with the four rings also again clearly increased sales in North America (+9.8%). In Europe (-2.2%), sales in January were, however, slightly below the record-breaking level from 2017.
“It’s a good start to a crucial year for Audi,” says Bram Schot, Board member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “2018 will be shaped by our model initiative. But with this initiative we are laying the foundations for growth over the next few years.” In the course of the year the main focus will be on the full-size segment. The new A7 will be launched, and Audi will bring out the next generation of the A6, together with two brand-new full-size SUVs: the Q8 and the all-electric powered Audi e-tron.
The models in the A4 and A5 family accounted for the bulk of growth in January. In this segment Audi delivered about 50 percent more automobiles to customers than a year ago. Demand for the A4 and A5 held up well specifically in the United States, with sales up more than 71 percent. Across all models, Audi of America sold 14,511 (+9.9%) premium automobiles, achieving its 85th consecutive record‑breaking month. In neighboring countries Canada (+10.2% to 2,130 automobiles) and Mexico (+8.3% to 1,203 automobiles), Audi again achieved clear growth. In North America as a whole, sales at the month-end totaled around 17,850 automobiles (+9.8%).
In China, 60,875 (+73.0%) customers opted for an Audi in January. As such, the brand recorded its strongest January in China since entering the market 30 years ago. This year, Audi model launches will include the long version of the new A8 in Chinese dealerships – another important impetus for the brand’s full-size sales, as China is the largest sales market for the flagship of the Ingolstadt-based automaker.
In Europe, around 60,450 (-2.2%) customers took delivery of their new Audi in January. This slight fall is essentially due to a drop in sales in France (-22.9% to 3,394 automobiles) and Italy (-19.5% to 4,030 automobiles). A year ago, Audi sales enjoyed a very strong start to the year in both countries thanks, among other things, to the newly available Q2. In Spain (+0.4% to 4,949 automobiles), however, sales exceeded the 2017 figure. The same applies to the two largest European sales markets of the four rings: In the UK, sales increased by 0.5 percent to 11,810 automobiles, despite the shrinking overall market, while sales in Germany were up 0.4 percent to 23,019 automobiles. In its domestic market, the company started in August 2017 to offer a trade-in bonus for customers who switch from diesel cars that meet the Euro 1 through Euro 4 emission standards to an Audi model with the Euro 6 standard. To date, around 21,500 customers have taken advantage of this offer and replaced their older car with an Audi equipped with the latest efficiency technology.