By on March 7, 2013

Despite Audi CEO Rupert Stadler’s warnings that the effect of the Chinese New Year affects the usually glorious Audi numbers, Audi’s February sales still are something to be proud of.

Audi Global Sales February 2013
Feb’13 Feb’12 YoY YTD’13 YTD’12 YoY
World 110,000 106,582 3.2% 221,800 202,663 9.4%
Europe 54,900 54,862 0.1% 104,800 100,782 4.0%
Germany 19,804 19,769 0.2% 34,415 32,836 4.8%
UK 4,451 4,150 7.3% 14,329 12,715 12.7%
France 5,368 5,654 -5.1% 9,379 9,663 -2.9%
Italy 3,622 4,003 -9.5% 7,389 7,628 -3.1%
Spain 4,082 3,952 3.3% 6,836 6,487 5.4%
Russia 2,800 2,330 20.2% 4,525 3,770 20.0%
USA 10,877 8,531 27.5% 20,933 17,885 17.0%
Mexico 889 486 82.9% 1,742 1,060 64.3%
Asia-Pac 36,900 36,464 1.2% 81,300 69,693 16.7%
China 30,268 31,352 -3.5% 67,946 58,558 16.0%
India 775 600 29.2% 1,512 1,267 19.3%

Despite a  problematic Europe, despite a model changeover of Audi’s best-selling A3, and damn the Chinese New Year, Audi still managed the best February in its history.  Sales are up 3.2 percent overall.

The Chinese loss of 3.5 percent also looks benign and indicates a strong March. A miracle happened in Europe, with Audi booking a tiny gain.

Audi also gains TTAC’s  admiration for the best numbers presentation in the business. Everything in a neat table, current and prior year numbers, percentages, all here. Journalists don’t have to go into the archives, they don’t have to make deadly Excel mistakes. Danke!

Remember: You aren’t a global automaker if you don’t publish monthly global numbers.

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19 Comments on “Audi Beats Chinese Calendar, Ekes Out Gain...”

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    The data does not support the idea that Audi “beat the Chinese calendar”, regardless of their global performance.

    • 0 avatar

      15 selling days in 2013 vs 20 in 2012. A drop of only 3.5% is impressive, considering there were 25% fewer selling days.

      VW brand likely won’t be as pretty a situation.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        yes, Audi is doing well, have some great looking, desirable cars here on the high end, though i would guess that is not what sells in volume in China. I’d be curious to see their sales by model.

        its just that the headline made think Audi had more china sales in february inspite of the holiday, which was not the case.

        • 0 avatar

          Why don’t you start your own blog, Dr? Your talents are wasted here. You have so many great ideas and insights, you really should write them down.

          • 0 avatar

            @doctor olds

            I’m sure BS is being droll, but it *is* a tremendous idea. You seem to have the time and you certainly have the insider knowledge.
            More importantly, you’re intelligently pro-US.

            Build this thing, we’ll come.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            A little sarcasm Herr Schmitt? I thought you might want to give me a commission for all the hits and comments mine generate? I regretted making the first comment, and don’t blame you for coming back at me.

            @summicron- thanks, assuming you were not being facetious! Someone from High Gear Media sent me an email a couple years ago suggesting the same thing.
            It seems too much like a job! I am retired, and will have a lot less time when the weather gets better. Plus, my direct experience is limited to GM, which seems a rather narrow subject area.
            I enjoy the intellectual stimulation and even the research the issues prompt but don’t really want the responsibility.

        • 0 avatar

          They did have more sales … globally.

        • 0 avatar

          In fairness, I also read the headline to say that Audi had increased February sales in China.

          And I also agree that their China and global results continue to impress.

          Perhaps surprisingly, doctor olds, Audi’s best sellers in China are not dissimilar to what they they sell in North America, from what I see in the press:

          Total sales approx. 40,000 units, of which

          A6L ≈ 133,000

          A4L ≈ 100,000

          Q5 ≈ 89,000

          Q7 ≈ 21,000

          A8/S8 ≈ 19,000

          Q3 ≈ 2,000

          Plus miscellaneous others. The top 3 are local manufacture, the others are imports.

          Clearly, there is a substantial market for luxury cars in China.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @ect- Thanks for the enlightening info! I expected the smaller models to be the big sellers. No wonder VW is making so much.

    • 0 avatar

      @Doc Olds: Whether or not Bert was being funny, you would have some interesting stories to tell… But I can understand your position.

      I, too am hoping to retire someday…

  • avatar

    What caught my attention are the US sales numbers. I guess I didn’t realize Audi was that popular over here, handily beating the UK even. That’s just based on my own personal observations of course, in terms of how many Audis I actually see driving around. I would have figured that number to be around 10,000 YTD if I were to have guessed.

    • 0 avatar

      The UK is a fifth the size of the US, so it shouldn’t be surprising that we buy more of just about everything. The funny thing is just how regional car sales are. In some communities, you’d think Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes are fighting for the sales crown. In others, you’d think that Detroit still dominated the retail sales field.

      • 0 avatar

        True and fascinating. Where I live you’d think BMW and domestic pickups ruled the world. Very few MB, fair # of Hyundai/Kia, smidgen of Caddys and, of course, the ubiquitous Camrys. Not many Hondas, but I did have a confirmed Ridgeline sighting at the gas station yesterday.

        BMW has ceased being a head turner ’round these parts. Audis still are ’cause they’re so damn rare.

  • avatar

    I know we buy more cars overall, I just figured our Audi purchase ratio wouldn’t be what it is.

    Like you said, it’s probably a regional thing though. Maybe folks where I live don’t buy as many Audis, so from my perspective it seems that their sales numbers wouldn’t be very high.

  • avatar

    Audi’s US business model (and mandate from Germany) has been: profitable growth. I recall reading an interview about 18 months ago with previous Audi of America chief Johann de Nysschen stating that if he were able to receive more product he would be able to sell every car.

    They’ve resisted throwing gobs of incentive money on the hood of every car, along with minimal lease subsidies.

    Slow and steady wins the race. The addition of the A3 sedan in the second half of 2013 and the Q3, likely by next spring, should add substantially to their US sales volume. The big limiter at this point is going to be manufacturing capacity. Most of Audi’s plants are at or very near capacity.

    Toss in some very profitable “S” and “RS” models and I’m sure the executives in Germany are plenty pleased.

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure about the US prospect for an A3 sedan. Americans are funny about spending serious money on a small car. The wagon A3 will be a tough sell among the younger crowd, what with the new GTI/D coming next year. I wonder if many folks are going to go more upscale than the already upscale VW GT/x hatch.

      • 0 avatar

        The A3 sedan will likely be bigger (at least in terms of inside dimensions) than the original ’94 A4 sedan, or the BMW 1-series. Audi believes in the US demand strongly enough to be creating a sedan version — Europeans are happy to buy hatchbacks.

      • 0 avatar

        Americans *were* funny about spending serious money on a smaller car, but the times, they are a’changin’.

        Traditionally, we Americans have equated size to be: large car = premium, small car = economy. The tide is slowly turning and Audi is making a bet that this trend will continue to move in their favor.

        The original A3 Sportback that was brought stateside wasn’t a smashing success by any measure, but Audi was able to sell every single one that they imported without large incentives, without any substantial marketing budget or plan. In fact, contrary to conventional wisdom the A3 had its best sales years in the last 2 years of the model run. Sales and margins really took off with the TDI.

        The A3 was an experiment for Audi to determine the market for a small, premium vehicle in North America. Lower the price point a bit, turn it into a sedan and not a hatch back and update it with the latest techno-wizardry and I have little doubt that they’ll be able to sell every one of the 20-30,000 units annually that they’re targeting here in the US.

        As for the Sportback, don’t expect it to return in the traditional sense anytime soon. We’re guaranteed to get the e-tron version announced last week, and I’m putting money on the g-tron as well, considering Audi just broke ground on an e-gas plant in New Mexico. Whether we get the traditional TDI and gas versions is still up in the air.

        But if they’re able to move 5,000-8,000 Sportbacks here annually I’m pretty certain that with a sustained marketing campaign and a sedan it will sell like hotcakes. Plus, it isn’t goofy looking like the 1-series. ;-)

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