A new record-breaking year for AUDI AG: In 2012 the company sold around 1,455,100 premium automobiles worldwide, 11.7 percent more than in the previous year. The Ingolstadt-based carmaker thus clearly surpassed its annual target announced in summer of 1.4 million cars – above all thanks to strong growth rates in North America and Asia. With deliveries exceeding the previous year's figure by more than 152,000, this was Audi's second-highest jump in sales in the history of the company. Only one year previously, in 2011, Audi had attracted around 210,000 additional customers. With around 110,400 deliveries (+0.8%) in December 2012, Audi reached again the strong sales total of the excellent final month of 2011.
“In 2012, Audi achieved new record totals in every region worldwide, including in Europe. We managed to buck the negative market trend and continued to grow there, extending our lead as the strongest premium brand,” says Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Sales and Marketing. “Worldwide, our new models in particular gave us an extra lift over the past year, most notably the very popular Audi Q3: It has helped the entire Audi SUV family become a mainstay of our success, now accounting for one-quarter of all deliveries for the first time.”
The global rollout of the Q3 began in October 2011, so 2012 was its first full year on market. In Europe alone, Audi handed over around 78,700 units of its compact SUV to customers over the past year. Another model that has been on sale since fall 2011 and has provided a strong stimulus on the brand’s home continent is the Audi A6 Avant. Around 60 percent of A6 customers in Europe opt for the station wagon version of the full-size model; A6 Avant sales in the region rose by 38.9 percent to around 63,100 automobiles in 2012. Across all models, AUDI AG sold around 739,000 cars in Europe in the past year, thus advancing by a further 1.8 percent amid a difficult market environment.
While base effects from the prior-year month and the forthcoming model changeover for the Audi A3 Sportback impacted December’s delivery totals for Europe, the four rings achieved strong sales figures over the full year especially in its three biggest European markets: In Germany AUDI AG increased its sales by 3.6 percent to the new high of 263,163 deliveries. This gave the company the highest market share in its history: 8.6 percent. Over the past ten years, the Ingolstadt-based carmaker has almost doubled its annual sales in the UK. Business in 2012 contributed to this performance with growth of 7.2 percent to 123,640 cars, again an all-time high. By comparison, Audi sold 65,552 cars in the United Kingdom in 2002. Amid a contracting market, Audi France was able to repeat the previous year's record sales in 2012. With 62,202 deliveries (+0.3%) the four rings confirmed their leading position in the premium segment in France. The clearly negative economic situation led to declining sales in Italy (-17.0% to 50,085 deliveries) and in Spain (-11.7% to 36,139 deliveries) in 2012. In both countries, however, the registration figures for Audi managed to hold their ground much better than the market as a whole. By contrast, Audi experienced dynamic sales growth in Russia in 2012: 33,512 cars delivered to Russian customers represent an increase of 44.1 percent on the previous year – among Audi’s top ten sales markets worldwide, Russia was consequently the fastest-growing. By comparison, AUDI AG’s sales total for 2009 in Russia was 15,009 cars, less than half its current figure.
In the United States Audi established a new sales record in every single month of the past year and further accelerated growth from 2011: By the end of 2012 139,310 premium cars of the brand had been shipped to the United States, 18.5 percent more than in the previous year. Within the space of five years, Audi of America has thus increased the four rings’ customer base in the United States by almost 50 percent (2007 deliveries: 93,506 cars). 2012 saw especially the models in the prestigious full-size class give Audi a further boost in the U.S. market: Combined sales of the A6, the A7 Sportback, the Q7 and the flagship model A8 were up 39 percent. Sales of the A6 Sedan alone, the new generation of which was available at U.S. dealers for its first full year in 2012, climbed to 18,998 units, a rise of 73.7 percent on the prior-year total. Audi’s sales performance in the two other countries of the North American region was similarly impressive in the past year: In Canada sales were up 18.6 percent at 20,000 automobiles, and in Mexico up 17.7 percent at 9,482.
In China Audi remained the clear premium-segment leader at the close of 2012. With 405,838 deliveries in 2012 the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer broke through the barrier of 400,000 cars for the first time ever – having crossed the threshold of 300,000 units only one year earlier. Main drivers behind the 29.6 percent growth rate were the Changchun-built models: Despite a model changeover in March, for the first time ever Audi sold over 130,000 of the long-wheelbase version of the A6 Sedan in China within the space of a year (132,872 deliveries). The A6 L thus remains the top-seller in the brand’s Chinese model range and the most popular premium automobile in that market. 93,030 of Audi’s Chinese customers opted for the Q5 last year, a significant increase of 63.8 percent on 2011. Worldwide, too, the performance SUV was again the unchallenged leader in its segment in 2012 with around 206,000 units delivered.
A large number of emerging growth markets likewise became increasingly important for Audi in 2012 thanks to their high growth rates: These include for example South Korea (+46.0% to 15,100 cars), South Africa (+15.5% to 16,771 cars) and India, where the brand’s sales gained 63.4 percent to 9,003 units. The company’s sales in Turkey, too, put on a spurt of 17.7 percent to 14,487 units, making it one of over 50 markets where Audi established a new sales record last year.
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