The German luxury brand marked its second-best month ever in the U.S. in June, driven by a successful launch of its all-new A3 entry model. With more models on the way, the outlook for the rest of 2014 appears bright.
Audi drawing younger buyers, former Toyota and Honda owners with new A3.
Thebrand continues to struggle in the U.S., but not much appears to be going wrong with Audi, which continues to enjoy strong sales and is seeing its reenergized move down market with its revamped A3 model hitting all targets.
Audi posted its second-best month ever in the U.S., delivering 16,867 vehicles in June, up 33.3% on a daily-rate basis from year-ago’s 13,706, according to WardsAuto data.
“June was a good month for Audi,” Audi of America President Scott Keogh sums up in a conference call with reporters, noting the year-to-date tally of 84,349 units is about on par with what the brand sold in all of 2009.
Launch of the revised A3 just a couple months ago is helping build momentum and has added about 1.5% of segment share for Audi, a gain executives appear confident will be maintained or exceeded for all of 2014.
The car mostly is stealing buyers from, and some near-luxury brands, Keogh says, and more importantly is not taking sales away from the more upmarket A4, which posted an 11.0% gain daily in June.
The A3 is drawing younger buyers to the brand, with 26% not more than 30 years old. Transaction prices are hovering around $35,000-$36,000, compared with $41,000-$42,000 for the A4 and currently about 80% are opting for top-of-the-line models with 2.0L engines and quattro all-wheel drive.
Audi believes there’s a bigger opportunity with the A3 to push the entry 1.8L model and expects that version to increase its share of the mix over time. Also ready to add momentum are the S3 performance edition, A3 TDI diesel and A3 cabriolet, all set to join the U.S. lineup in late summer. A plug-in hybrid version follows in second-quarter 2015.
“Once we get (the additional models) it will create even more fury in the marketplace,” says Audi of America Chief Operating Officer Mark Del Rosso. “All indications are we not only are on plan, we are feeling confident.”
The rollout of the Q3 small CUV in September will add more fuel to Audi’s fire.
If there’s any snag for the brand, it is in supply. Del Rosso says although the Q5 and Q7 pipeline has opened up a bit, Audi still can’t get enough of the CUVs to support U.S. demand.
But Keogh says overall he would prefer to keep “inventories lean and supply tight.” Days’ supply averages about 48-50 nationwide across Audi’s entire lineup, he says, though waiting times on a Q5 could be as high as three months and A3 buyers may have to be patient if they want the car equipped exactly to their specifications.
The story is not as rosy at, where U.S. sales fell 15.5% daily to 28,827 vehicles in June. Golf GTI deliveries jumped 78.6% to 1,927 units, and Jetta SportWagen sales rose 16.2% to 1,988, but all other models were down, many posting high double-digit declines.
Porsche Cars North America reports it delivered 763 of its new Macan CUVs in June, making it the third-best seller for the brand in the month behind the Cayenne (1,300) and 911 (809). In its first six weeks on the market, Macan sales totaled 2,206 units.
The CUV’s performance helped Porsche to its best June ever in the U.S. on a volume of 4,102 units, up from 3,700 year-ago. Through the first six months, the brand is outpacing last year’s record tally with deliveries totaling 22,919, compared with 21,309 in like-2013.