By on December 28, 2014

2016 audi q7Sales of the Audi Q7 in 2014 rose to a seven-year high in the United States. That’s a meaningful bit of information right there, given that the Q7 at your local Audi dealer now is basically the Q7 that first arrived at your local Audi dealer in 2006.

North of the border, Canadians registered more new Q7s in the first eleven months of 2014 than in any previous full calendar year. Q7 sales in both Canada and the United States have increased in each of the last five years.

It’s by no means the highest-volume player in the luxury SUV world, not in 2007 when U.S. Q7 volume peaked at 20,695 units; not in 2014 when the Q7 is outsold by low-volume premium brand utility vehicles like the BMW X1, Lexus GX460, and Volvo XC60. (Would the Q7 sell more often if Audi added the letter X to its badge? Probably not. Maybe. Definitely.)

But what impresses about the Q7 is not the number of sales, rather that the totals increase as the vehicle ages. Audi’s four rings have presented numerous vehicles with opportunities for growth late in their lifecycles. Q5 volume, for example, has only ever increased, from 13,790 units in 2009 to 23,518 in 2010, 24,908 in 2011, 28,671 in 2012, 40,355 in 2013, and possibly more than 42,000 in 2014, its sixth year on the market.

The expansion of the U.S. new vehicle market has assisted, as well. 2013 volume across the industry rose 7.5%. Through the first eleven months of 2014, sales are up 5.5%. The utility vehicle sector is up nearly 12% this year. But growth in the overall industry does not assure all vehicles of increased sales year after year after year on the back of nothing more than modest updates and upgrades. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see decreased sales in 2014 from the Mazda CX-9, Lincoln MKT, Infiniti QX70, Honda Pilot, Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota Sequoia, BMW X1, Ford Edge, Nissan Armada, Nissan Pathfiner, GMC Acadia, Kia Sorento, Volvo XC60, Cadillac SRX, Volkswagen Touareg and numerous others, many of which, like the Q7, are aging vehicles about to be replaced.

2012 Audi Q7 whiteThe Q7, however, is part of the scorching hot Audi brand. With one month remaining, 2014 was already the fifth consecutive year of record sales at Audi. The brand set U.S. sales records in 47 consecutive months through November. Brand-wide sales are up 15% this year, a gain of 21,725 units through eleven months. In November, when the industry grew at a 5% clip, Audi sales shot up 22% with help from new products (A3, Q3) and solid growth from the Q5 (up 17%) and the Q7, which climbed 15%.

If Audi can expand its Q7 owner base with a model that’s seen two presidential and two mid-term election cycles come and go, what might the second-generation Q7 achieve? Audi’s gradual climb toward the top of the premium leaderboard continues. In the U.S., they’re outselling Cadillac and Acura this year, something Audi couldn’t do in 2013.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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70 Comments on “What Can The Second Q7 Do For Audi In America?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Would the Q7 sell more often if Audi added the letter X to its badge?”

    If Audi added the letter “X” to it’s badge it would become an Infiniti QX7(0)

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I rarely see Q7’s anymore. Unlike the Q5 or Macan that seem to be everywhere. The new car will do well, but this is an ever increasing competitive space. There are more choices that there were in 2013 in this price range and this level of status. Not sure if “scorching” sales will be so easy with a new model.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Audi’s volume leader the A4 is due for replacement sooner than later. Should be another good year.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I’ve always been a big fan of the S4. Waiting to see if there will be an RS4 also (but I doubt it). The A4 could be a great car for Audi (with some improvements). BMW is also soon to release updates the new 330 and 440 I believe.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      We’ll see the new B9 A4 in Geneva this coming March. I wouldn’t be surprised if Audi uses the LA Autoshow as the US launch for it about a year from now, with sales starting in early 2016.

      The new Mexico factory for the Q5 will be up and running in Q1 2016 as well, so expect the new Q5 to be launched in Europe next fall or Geneva 2016.

      The new Merc C-Class is a pretty outstanding piece of kit and I expect will siphon a decent number of sales from Audi next year.

      If the market continues to grow next year it should help keep Audi’s sales growth more or less on track, even with some stale product (Q5, A4/A5).

      What I don’t have a grasp on is the Q3: sales are definitely not meeting expectations I had for the model, but I don’t know if that is due to supply constraints or not.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Now that I’ve had more time to look at the press pictures of the next generation Q7 I can’t decided if that shape/ride height is a tribute to the station wagon or the rooflines of cars in the 1940s.

  • avatar

    It amazes me that the new Q7 is being brought to you by the same conglomerate that believes a new Phaeton will sell in the US

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Say what you want about the new Q7, but to me it’s just a slightly updated VW Touareg, or at least it’s the first thing that comes to mind every time I see it

    http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/news/gallery/new-vw-touareg-tdi-with-262-hp-consumers-just-66-l-100km-photo-gallery_4.jpg

  • avatar
    hreardon

    The new Q7 is one that I really need to see in the flesh because these pre-release photos sure don’t get me very excited about the exterior design. My wife has always admired the Q7 due to its road presence, but the new one looks more like an overgrown wagon. Nothing against wagons, but here in ‘Murica we like our SUVs to look like SUVs, darnit.

    The interior, on the other hand, looks awesome.

  • avatar
    slow-rion

    Recently tested a current Q7. In a vacuum its a nice trucklet. Compared to its competition it’s lacking. Ended up buying an X5. The Audi salesman knew it too. He was quite professional and knew his stuff, but when I told him I preferred the X he wasn’t surprised at all. I am amazed that so many people are choosing the old Q over its competitors. The ML wasn’t that competitive either in my opinion. But Merc has an appeal regardless of its weaknesses.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “In a vacuum its a nice trucklet”

      So, you could say it’s the “Dyson” of SUVs

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        I drive a 2012 Q7 I bought new. I knew it was a slightly older design when I bought it. To me, it’s a good thing. They have had years to work out all the bugs. Being a first adopter of new tech is seldom a good idea.

        I liked the X5 on paper, but I couldn’t get past the stupid split tailgate. The Q7’s power lift gate won me over.

        I personally don’t like the looks of the new gen, glad I bought mine when I did. The electronic shifter is needlessly complex, what’s wrong with the regular kind?

        • 0 avatar
          slow-rion

          And it having all the kinks worked out was a reason for the q in my book as well. But when it came down to it I wanted all the latest tech. The q is very nice, and I’m sure I would have liked it, but the x won out. At this price point everything will be nice. Its splitting hairs and getting the exact doodads that excite you. The x was more sporty and felt like less of a compromise. I required the following: 3 rows of seats-wifes demand, over 6000# gvwr-irs demand, fun to drive-my demand. That really cuts down the choices. A Yukon denali would have been nice in a different way, but just too bulky. a grand Cherokee summit would have fit the bill nicely too, but no third row.

  • avatar
    EAF

    Rather than writing inauspicious statements pertinent to Audi, although well merited, I will discuss the fellowship of the four rings.

    Ring 1. No Audi engine will escape the demise of oil sludge peril.

    Ring 2. No DSG shall make claims to life beyond 55k miles (if lucky).

    Ring 3. No warranty claim, explicit or implied, will ever be honored.

    Ring 4. No model will be photographed in any color other than Negaro Blue.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Where’s our Blue Guy?

      He must be bursting with pride right now. His old homies in the DDR have gone up in the world and are honoring him.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      EAF,
      Thanks for the info as I have a DSG in my lowly VW and it is at 100,000 miles I guess they replaced it at 55K without me knowing it, as for ring #3 I had VW replace something when I was 30,000 miles out of warranty, again on my lowly VW, as for ring #1 when will my engine die from sludge so I can plan accordingly, thanks for the info.
      Ring #4 my car is blue but not Negaro blue so maybe that is a push.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        Seth, if it does not have a japanese badge. It will fall apart per some trolls on this site. Don’t take the bait. VW makes some great cars and some poor ones just like any other brand. Motorweek just tested family sedans and the Camry came in last place, 10th out of 10 cars. The interior was falling apart. But you will not hear this from many on this site. Including most of the contributing writers.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Are you kidding? We don’t like Camrys a lot more then we don’t like VWs

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            VW makes some pretty damn cars. Their restrained styling and decent greenhouses greatly appeal to be. Their paint is typically lustrous. I want so very much to be a fan.

            But their mechanicals are positively China-grade and every dealer within reach of me makes Chevy stores appear refined. Or IS also a Chevy store.

            Salesmen hanging around the s1de entrance smoking and hockering on the pavement… nah.

          • 0 avatar
            BigDuke6

            Than Calvin. THAN.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          VW16v,
          I’m not finding a class-comparo there for family sedans. Got a link?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Here…

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/11/17/27000-midsize-sedan-challenge-car-by-car-capsules/19033181/

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Thanks, Calvin. Apparently VW is out being stranded by his car.

            OK, so the Camry needed better tires and is plug-ugly with its new Vader-face.

            Having no dog in the sedan fight I’ll agree that the ugly overwhelms any advantages because the competition is so good. For brand new cars.

            Of course, if reliability or resale were criteria the Passat would never have made the list and, as always, Camry and Accord would vie for #s 1 and 2.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            Petezeiss, sorry been working a lot. here are the links.
            http://www.motorweek.org/

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          VWs are very finicky though. If they weren’t, my wife’s Rabbit wouldn’t have a CR recommendation, while the same year GTI is on their “cars to avoid” list. VWs are great… if you get one in the right configuration, built in the right country, at the right time of year, etc etc…. most folks are wise to not take that risk.

          Plus until recently there were legit alternatives. An Accord/Altima V6 might not have been as sexy as a Passat, but they were way cheaper + easier to own and pretty much as fun to drive. I would take any DOHC VTEC Honda over an equivalent MK3/4 VW any day of the week. On the fun to drive scale they scored way higher, and when you factor in the average ownership experience its a no brainer. VWs are great when they corner a market… for example, when they came out with the GTI, or right now, where the GTI’s competitors can’t match its design/refinement (at least till the MS3 comes out). But there was a long time where all VW really had to hang its hat on was soft touch plastics and interior design.

      • 0 avatar
        EAF

        Seth,

        Obviously your VW was assembled in Mordor as opposed to Mexico, likely forged in the hot fires of volcano Mt. Doom.

        I’d be more than happy to link you to any of the aforementioned topics, countless threads, on the VW Vortex forums. It would be a waste of my time because you are well aware they exist.

        The last DSG thread I read was 30 pages long, filled with low mileage failures.

        I’ve personally replaced oil starved turbo’s, cleaned heads & pcv systems and freed oil strainers/pick-ups. It isn’t fiction.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    “What Can The Second Q7 Do For Audi In America?”

    I know that one!

    It can help keep Audi in that weensy little slice called “Other” on your pie charts!

  • avatar
    carguy

    In a two words: Not much

    First, this is because full size German luxury SUVs have not been selling well when compared to their compact and mid-size alternatives. Adding a new model won’t change that.

    Second, the new Q7 is even uglier than the first. How many people are going to pay that kind of money for a station-wagon/minivan? At that price range you want your transportation to look good even if it is a family hauler.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I live out in a rural area now with only one white Q7 running around. Like GM’s Acadia, that did get a facelift at some point, they both came out in 06. It would appear there are 15X more Acadias on the road here. The new Q7 looks too small to gain new buyers in truck country. The more the wife slims at the gym, the bigger her SUV tends to be.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Sludge in Audi’s 3.0L? Oh wait, that was Toyota’s engine sludge problem. Exploding 5-speed autoboxes? Oohhhhh wait, that was Honda. Rust buckets? No wait, that was Mazda. CVTs that rattle the car like an old washing machine? Nope, Nissan. Exploding head gaskets when the car is 6 years old? Nope, Subaru.

    Just keep telling yourself, Japanese are best, Japanese are best, Japanese are best. Maybe if you say it in front of a mirror, it might come true!

    Those familiar with Audi know full well what the brand was like in the ’90s through early ’00s. It’s not 2003 anymore though. An A6 is not going to strand you anywhere, and as a CAR rather than just a reliability statistic, it beats the absolute crap out of the bottom of the barrel Infiniti Q70 and Acura RLX, which somehow manage to cost more AND be worse than a Hyundai Genesis. Good job team!

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Thank you, know you know why I drive a Russian Zil. Rock solid, just like the Ruble

      -VP

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      I don’t think anyone here stated that the Japanese do reliability the best, however, most would agree that Audi/VW is the worst. The 3.0 has had its fair share of issues and it does leave owners stranded! Admittedly, I havent opened one up since a timing belt / waterpump service in maybe 2009 (it was an ’04).

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “I don’t think anyone here stated that the Japanese do reliability the best”

        Then I’ve been remiss. The Japanese do reliability the best. Except for pickups, we never let those slide like we did cars.

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          Pete,

          You can’t say “JDM manufactures the most reliable vehicles” but then go and exclude their trucks. Although, I would absolutely agree that JDM cars and USDM pickups are the most reliable in their respective category.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Yeah, I wasn’t clear. No hit against J-trucks intended at all. Just meant that USDM pickups never lowered their quality so no one had a reason to go Japanese.

            With consistently tough and attractive trucks sold in every town big enough to have a school, how could *any* foreign manufacturer hope to break in?

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Except there are always exceptions. My 2007 A3 was the most reliable and solid new car I’ve ever had. Especially compared to my 2 Chevy trucks, a 1989 Cheyene and a 1999 Silverado. Even my 2014 Acura Sportwagon with just over 10,000 miles has a couple of random rattles now and then.

    • 0 avatar
      ZCD2.7T

      The Japanese brands (big 3 anyway) HAVE generally offered better reliability than other cars overall, though as you point out there have been exceptions.

      Audi’s (Audis’?) overall reliability has improved exponentially in the past 10 years, as witnessed by the brand finishing 3rd last year and 4th this year (behind only Japanese brands) in Consumer Reports’ reliability rankings. Yes, I know that’s only one data point, but it’s indicative of the direction the brand is headed.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Love the current Q7, hate this new one from how it looks in photos. I had an A6 new from back when Audi used to give free maintenance and whatnot and owned it for 3 years and honestly I had no problems except for it leaked a little oil, don’t remember why, but that was fixed quickly and there were no other issues. I chose not to go with another Audi because honestly when you buy a luxury car and spend a certain amount of money, you are paying for prestige and I really don’t feel that you get that with an Audi. One of my neighbors bought a new A4 earlier this year and that thing just sounds gutless and terrible when it drives by, they really need to do something about that. The A7 is about the only car they have that is kind of prestigious and that is only because it looks so different than anything else out there, but the backseat unfortunately is useless. Now the A6 Allroad, that’s a car.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    the Q7 sells well becuase it’s an antique, which makes it cheap in comparison to its competitors. Compare the cost of a Q7 to similar offerings from BMW, MB, and Lexus. The Q7 is far and away the cheapest capital vessel out there, and despite Audi (and VW) never understanding this about the US market, it’s a decent value in terms of dollar per cubic foot of interior space; the one true metric that Americans seem to use to value cars.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    The Q7 still sells because it still looks the way that Car and Driver described it way back when it was first introduced: “A concept car masquerading as an SUV”. Even 8 years later, it still looks like nothing else on the road.

    I came thisclose to buying one in 2008, but ended up with an MDX instead. 2 primary reasons: 1) MDX drives smaller than it is, and has more interior space than you’d think. Q7 drove bigger than it is, with less space thank you’d think. 2) the 3.6L V-6 available at that time was LOUD – like “shout to be heard above it loud” and didn’t make the car that quick. The 3.0L supercharged V-6 that’s now offered is the perfect gasoline motor for the Q7 – much more refined, MUCH more powerful than the 3.6. The TDi, though is the one to get if you can afford it.

    The MDX has been great over 130K miles – bulletproof and fun to drive for an SUV. It’s due for replacement in the Spring, and the new Q7 was the wife’s presumptive favorite until she saw it. Now, seems like it will be between another MDX and the new Volvo XC90…

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      I really liked the MDX, but ultimatly ended up with a Q7. Granted mine has the excellent 3.0T. The closest Acura dealer to me was 70 mi, while we had a (very small) Audi dealer in town. I didn’t buy from them but I didn’t want to have to go 70 mi out of the way every time I needed an oil change.

      Love the new MDX though, excellent vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        ZCD2.7T

        I know all about the 3.0T motor, as I get to enjoy it every day in my S4!

        I actually drove a loaner Q7 to the Acura dealership to test-drive the MDX – the Acura sales guys got a kick out of that!

        Price difference was bigger back then, too. Audi has added standard equipment to the various Q7 trim levels while at the same time Acura raised the “loaded” pricing substantially on the 2014 and newer MDX, so now they’re pretty comparable. I agree with you that the new MDX is excellent overall…

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The current Q7 has always looked a bit outdated to me, and like it has far too much metal heft riding on the wheels. The wheels which are buried under a floppy blanket of metal.

    The equivalent Touareg was/is far superior looking.


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