Audi Gains Momentum
Washington DC August 3, 2007; The AIADA newsletter reported that Germany's No. 3 luxury carmaker, after BMW and Mercedes, is on a tear, with new luxury models and older models that retain their cachet.
Audi's sporty new models are rapidly narrowing the profit gap with BMWs and Benzes, according to results released by the company on July 3.
According to BusinessWeek, Audi is on a tear to expand its lineup of high-performance cars such as the posh Q7 SUV and the A5 coupe, and it's employing head-turning design to steal customers from the competition.
In the U.S. market, in the first half, Audi's U.S. sales rose 13%. Audi sales and marketing chief Ralph Weyler says new dealerships there are helping to transform Audi's once-lackluster image in the U.S. Until recently Audi sold its cars in the U.S. through Volkswagen dealerships, which muddled its image by association with a mass-market brand.
In markets such as Miami, Los Angeles, and New York, upscale glass-and-steel dealerships have opened, helping to lure buyers with higher incomes. The edgy, minimalist design of the new dealerships exudes upmarket ambience. "The floors are dark gray, setting off the cars like diamonds," says Weyler.