The FINANCIAL — Following growth in June and July, AUDI AG increased its global sales year-on-year in August as well.
Around 138,900 premium automobiles delivered in August represent a 5.0 percent increase in sales compared with 2016. Cumulative sales since January total around 1,202,400 units and are 2.6 percent below the record-breaking figure from 2016. Last month, Audi sales increased in all three top markets of the Four Rings – in the United States (+2.8%), in Germany (+6.7%), and, most notably, in China: Audi once again achieved substantial growth (+10.3%) in its largest market on the back of strong sales in July and reported its best sales month of the year to date with 54,205 Chinese customers, according to Volkswagen.
“August has once again confirmed clearly that Audi is back on track in China. Following the important strategic structural decisions in the first half of the year, China is again our strongest growth engine,” says Rupert Stadler, CEO of AUDI AG. “We are heading for a successful third quarter worldwide with regard to sales, against the backdrop of a slowdown in global automobile markets compared with 2016.”
In the last month, the Audi A4L in particular contributed to growth for the brand in China: 10,731 Chinese customers opted for the model in August, 39.5 percent more than a year ago. The A6L, the bestselling Audi in the market, posted substantial growth, with sales up 12.0 percent to 13,069 cars. Across all models, the Four Rings achieved the strongest August sales figures in Audi’s history in China (+10.3% to 54,205 cars), thus further reducing the cumulative year-on-year decline to 6.6 percent. Audi has handed over 360,225 automobiles in China since January.
For Audi of America the past month marked a special milestone: With a year-on-year increase of 2.8 percent to 19,811 sales, August was the 80th consecutive record-breaking month for Audi in the United States. Even in today’s declining overall market, the company has continued to grow month after month and has delivered 141,606 automobiles since the start of the year, 5.2 percent more than in the same period in 2016. In August, in addition to the new A5 family, the Audi Q7 once again saw a sharp increase in demand from U.S. customers. Sales of the full-size SUV increased by a further 35.2 percent to 3,174 units. Since Q7 sales also rose by just under a third in Canada in August (+30.9% to 322 SUVs), almost half of the Q7 models delivered worldwide went to a U.S. or Canadian customer in the month. Audi in Canada also closed August, as in the previous months, with high double-digit growth across all models: up 26.8 percent to 3,292 cars.
Among the large European markets, Germany, Italy and Spain in particular reported substantial increases in sales figures for August. In the German domestic market, Audi exceeded the prior-year month by 6.7 percent with 18,869 automobiles; the 3,394 units sold in Italy represent an increase of 6.0 percent. Spain saw sales increase 8.8 percent to 3,194 automobiles in the past month. In all three countries, the successful Q2, as the latest Audi SUV, created additional demand at the brand’s dealerships. By contrast, extraordinary effects in the two largest export markets in Western Europe dampened the sales balance in the region over the past month. In the United Kingdom (-0.6% to 6,297 cars), Audi sales proved far more resilient than the overall market in August, where sales are traditionally lower ahead of the license plate changeover in September. In France (-7.3% to 3,674 cars), longer delivery times for especially popular model series in August had an impact on the month-end figures. In cumulative terms, deliveries in both markets are at least on a par with 2016, when Audi UK and Audi France broke new sales records. Audi sales in Western Europe as a whole for the month of August exceeded the all-time high of 2016 (+2.4% to around 45,600 cars); around 543,700 customers in the region from January through August represent an increase of 1.5 percent.