Records are meant to be broken, and that is an adage Audi has taken to heart. There’s no hotter brand in the United States luxury space than Audi. Thanks to a lineup of fresh products, sales are up significantly. The company has just announced an all-time record for the month of July, with a 28% increase over July 2011.
At 11,707 This marks the brand’s 19th consecutive month of record sales. The first seventh months of 2012 have set a year-to-date record as well. Particularly of interest is sales of the brand’s higher-end models, such as the Audi A8, Audi A7, Audi A6 and Audi Q7. Share of these vehicles as a percentage of overall Audi sales jumped 20%, to 30.4%.
A6 sales are up 66.8% percent for the month and a whopping 123.8% percent to date. This is important because it means Audi is gaining traction at the upper end of the market, rather than just with low-end cars like the A4. Also, with models like the A6 we hear that the sales mix is tilted heavily toward the V-6 upper end. That could have something to do with the singular availability of a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with the A6 four-cylinder.
Audi has fixed this situation with the upcoming availability of an eight-speed automatic. Good move. At 11,707 units, Audi is still a good distance behind the leaders BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. That means there is a lot of room to grow for the foreseeable future, particularly on the low end. The company’s X1-fighting Q3 crossover is being debated (and likely will be green lighted) and the U.S-focused A3 sedan will expand share in the entry-level market. Focusing on growth in the U.S and China key component of Audi’s goal to become the largest premium brand by 2018. With BMW and Mercedes-Benz preparing fresh product offensives, it’ll be interesting to see how this rival shakes out. One thing is for sure: the consumer really stands to benefit from the fierce competition.