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Audi Posts 26% Sales Increase. Evidence of Audi Voodoo?

Posted in Audi, auto industry, Car Buying, New Cars, Newsworthy by Alex Kierstein | September 2nd, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

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We don’t know exactly what sort of supernatural mojo Audi is conjuring up, but it’s been enough to boost their sales to near-record levels in the midst of a long and harsh recession, without offering any of the “two-for-one plus a year’s supply of beef!”-style promotions that have become popular among other ailing carmakers. Plus, Audi’s not exactly everyone’s go-to manufacturer for Cash-for-Clunkers rebates, neither – less than 10% of the increased sales were clunker purchases.

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Strong demand for the Q5 and Q7 (especially the Q7 TDI, drool-worthy despite its heft) SUVs really spurred the sales increase, possibly showing that the wealthy haven’t been shell-shocked enough by the recession to realize that SUVs are now passe. Anyhow, press release below.

Press Release

Audi posts 26% U.S. sales gain, achieves second-best August ever
– Strong retail demand drove sales with minimal ‘Cash for Clunkers’ impact
– All-time monthly sales records set for Audi Q5 crossover, A5/S5 Coupes
– Best month in 2009 for Audi A4 Sedan and Avant®, A3, TT models

HERNDON, Va., Sep 1, 2009 – Audi today reported its U.S. sales last month rose 26% to achieve its second-best August sales ever and its best month overall since June 2008. In August 2009, Audi sold 8,057 cars and SUVs compared to 6,406 vehicles sold in August 2008.

Audi posted the strong results despite offering only modest discounts to consumers and seeing minimal impact from the federal government’s Car Allowance Rebate System. Fewer than 10% of Audi sales for the month can be attributed to the “Cash for Clunkers” incentives that were available throughout August. Audi discounts have ranked among the lowest in the luxury vehicle segment, according to third-party measurements, and August was no exception to that trend.

“With each passing month it is clear that Audi is shaping the luxury vehicle conversation,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “These August results are not figments of steep discounting or other sales gimmicks. They represent the reality that the performance orientation, the leading-edge styling, the attention to detail and efficiency found across the Audi lineup resonate with the priorities set by today’s luxury car buyers.”

August 2009 set a sales record for the Audi Q5 crossover vehicle, which has been met with positive critical reviews since its launch in February. For the month, Audi dealers sold 1,496 Q5 models, leaving a 21-days supply of unsold models. Typically, a 60-days supply of unsold models is considered normal. Strong demand also tightened inventories of the Audi Q7 TDI® as American consumers are showing a new appreciation for the efficiency and emissions benefits of the world’s cleanest diesel technology. The inventory of unsold Q7 TDI models dipped to a mere 29-days supply.

“We received some lift by bringing 2010 Audi Q5 and Q7 TDI® models to market earlier than usual,” de Nysschen said. “But continued high demand isn’t allowing them to sit long on dealership lots.”

Sales of the popular Audi A5 and S5 coupes reached 877 to set an all-time monthly record. Through the first eight months of 2009, sales of the A5 and S5 models are 49.9% higher than the same period in 2008. Audi dealers sold 44 of the newly released S5 Cabriolet models in the month, as well.

August represented the best month of 2009 for the Audi A4 Sedan and Avant, with 3,209 of those models sold combined. Another 614 of the A4 Cabriolet sold in August. The Audi A3 and TT models also achieved their best sales of the year in August.

As a result of the strong August 2009 sales, Audi expects its share of the imported luxury vehicle sector to rise substantially when compared against its share a year earlier. That would put the Audi share of the segment above 8%. The best August sales month in the U.S. for Audi came in 2003.

During August 2009, Audi sold 6,167 cars and 1,890 SUVs. From January through August 2009, Audi sold 39,380 cars and 12,929 SUVs.

Audi is also optimistic about sales in the months ahead. At the end of August, dealership showroom traffic was up more than 20% from a year earlier and Internet leads were up 38.1% year-to-date from 2008 levels. What’s more, luxury consumer interest in the Audi lineup should intensify with the arrival of the Audi S4 Sedan, the S5 Cabriolet, the A5 Cabriolet and the redesigned Q7 models. Before the end of 2009, Audi will launch the new A3 TDI model, which gets a stunning 42 mpg of clean diesel fuel, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Audi recorded 2,642 Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) units sold in August, and has now achieved 21,187 CPO sales in 2009.

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