The European malaise seems to have selective impact on European automakers. Audi announced record results today. Audi reported an operating profit of €5.35 billion ($7.16 billion) in 2011, and wants to have even better results this year.
Don’t mention Audi when you talk to Mercedes managers. Audi sold 1.3 million cars last year, and now is the world’s second largest maker of premium cars, behind BMW. Mercedes-Benz was relegated to the #3 position.
Audi’s operating margin was a monstrous 12.1 percent last year. Mercedes-Benz used to be proud of their 9 percent. “These numbers turn Audi into one of the world’s most profitable car companies,” Audi CFO Axel Strotbeck told Automobilwoche [sub].
With 313.036 units sold (+37 percent,) China is Audi’s largest market, before Audi’s home market Germany (254.011 units, up 10.8 percent.) Audi chief Rupert Stadler is unimpressed by news that China might stop government purchases of foreign cars. Only 10 percent of Audi’s sales in China are government sales.