Published on September 27th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi Threatens BMW’s 7-Year Top Spot
Audi has just cut BMW’s lead in 2012 luxury-car sales by 2,110 vehicles this August, threatening BMW’s seven-year hold on the top position in premium auto sales. The Volkswagen Group’s luxury brand boosted eight-month sales by 13% to 961,000 vehicles, compared with the BMW brand’s 7.8% increase to 963,110 vehicles, according to the two companies’ monthly sales reports.
VW is reaping the benefits from pouring 20 billion euros ($25.6 billion) into research and development at Audi since 2002. The luxury brand now sells 12 model lines, twice what it had in 2003, including three SUVs, the A1 compact and the R8 sports car. Audi, which ranks second in premium-vehicle deliveries since overtaking the Mercedes-Benz brand in 2011, has a goal of beating BMW by 2020.
The updated A3 hatchback went on sale in Germany in August; three weeks ahead of Mercedes’ updated A-Class. Mercedes plans to expand its lineup of compacts from two to at least five in the coming years, and has opened a new plant in Hungary dedicated to building smaller models.