Audi of America has been upfront with their goal: they aim to be the number one luxury brand in the United States by 2015. Despite enjoying record sales in 2010, that’s still an ambitious goal: Mercedes sold 224,924 vehicles in 2010, BMW sold 220,113 vehicles in 2010 and Lexus sold 113,106 vehicles in 2010. Audi, on the other hand, sold 101,628, which currently has them in fourth place. The good news is that Audi sold nearly eight times more cars than Jaguar did, and they sold more than fifty times the number of vehicles moved by Bentley, Rolls Royce and Maybach, combined. Overtaking Lexus is a perfectly reasonable goal for 2011, assuming demand for luxury cars remains strong and the economy continues to improve.
As any good coach knows, you don’t improve your game by targeting the next weakest team; you improve your game by targeting the winning team. Audi’s latest ads, for both the A4 and the A8, clearly target the “old luxury” of Mercedes-Benz. If you’re hip and you’ve got money, the ads tell us, an Audi is what you want parked outside your mansion or million-dollar-designer home. I’ve never owned a place that looks like the one in the A4 ad (let alone the one in the A8 ad), so I guess that puts me outside of Audi’s target demographic. Maybe they’re working on an A3 ad to address those in my tax bracket.