Audi Takes Lead From BMW In Global Premium Car Sales

audi takes lead from bmw in global premium car sales

For the first time this year, BMW loses the best-selling premium brand crown to a rival as Audi squeaks past the Bavarians in the first two months of 2014 to take the title.

Automotive News reports Audi delivered 242,400 units in January and February of this year, 383 more than BMW; at the same time last year, BMW led Audi by 429 units in their nine-year period of dominance over the global premium car market.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler appeared not to be impressed by the news, however, as he noted in the brand’s annual press conference this week:

We’re ahead of our two main rivals in the first two months, but this doesn’t really interest me much. Our focus is on further growth.

Said growth aims to be driven by the introduction of 17 new or revamped models this year — including the A3 sedan roll-out in the United States and China, as well as the refreshed A3 hatchback and TT — as part of a five-year, 22-billion-euro investment in the brand, with goal of surpassing BMW once and for all in global sales by 2020.

BMW sales chief Ian Robertson, for his part, was confident his employer would take back the crown soon enough:

The innovative new models coming out this year, such as the 2-series Active Tourer and 4-series Gran Coupe, will give us the momentum to keep growing in 2014.

The new models will likely help the Bavarians rule the market for a 10th consecutive year, selling a projected 1.77 million units in 2014 over Audi’s 1.66 million and Mercedes’s 1.56 million according to IHS Automotive. However, previous reports indicate that the United States will not receive the 2-Series Active Tourer, which is taking heat for its front-drive layout.

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  • on Mar 13, 2014

    For the past 20+ years I have owned BMWs and Fords (both large and small for both brands)--simultaneously. From my experience, there is a world of difference between the two in terms of: driving dymanics, fit & finish, paint, squeaks & rattles, bluetooth and other electronic interfaces, gas efficiency (eg- my X5 3.5 gets 30 mpg on the highway),dealer experience, etc. There are reasons, beyond the badge, that these are called premium cars. Bottom line: you get what you pay for.

    • Featherston Featherston on Mar 13, 2014

      Dealership experience is one of those things that doesn't get talked about too much but is a big factor for me. (Another one: Do a car's sight lines, seats, and controls work with my particular body? Some cars, even if they're objectively great, don't work for some buyers.) I absolutely would shop for an ES at my local Lexus dealership before I'd look at a Camry or an Avalon. The Lexus dealer skews smarmy but generally does things the right way. The Toyota dealer, on the other hand, is outright shady. Generally I prefer things that are simpler and less expensive, but the dealership experience would sway me in that case. Similarly, the Chevy-Buick dealership in the small town where my mom grew up is fantastic. The same family has owned it for decades and has a justifiable reputation for honesty and attentiveness. GM would have the inside track if I lived there and were shopping for a new car.

  • Buckshot Buckshot on Mar 14, 2014

    Audi are really nice cars, but too expensive. You neeed a big wallet to buy one, and you need to save a large sum when someting goes wrong. But that also goes for Mercedes. I think BMW is more reliable, but then we have the douchebags that usually tras....drives them. The biggest reason for Audis success is design.

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