· U.S. car dealers say Audi models are “exactly what customers want”
· Expect greatest increase in value from Audi franchise
· Marketing and Sales Board Member Schwarzenbauer: “Dealers invest in Audi as a brand with best prospects for the future”
INGOLSTADT, Germany, Apr 21, 2010 - U.S. car dealers see Audi as the premium brand with the best prospects for the future. This was the finding of the semiannual survey by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), which was published this week. Already in the course of 2009, U.S. car dealers observed the greatest increase of value in the Audi franchise, compared with all other premium brands. With its range of premium models, AUDI AG meets the demand of U.S. customers better than any other premium carmaker, according to the dealers.
“Dealers are investing in Audi as a brand with the best prospects for the future. Their approval and trust are not only crucial to the success of a brand, they’re also a good indicator of the actual sales growth”, said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. In the United States, the majority of dealers have several brands in their sales portfolio, and are thus able to compare the performance of the franchises, Schwarzenbauer explained. From this portfolio, the dealers invest in the brand with the highest potential: in quality of sales and service, in attractive dealerships and advertising.
The brand’s premium product portfolio – in which design, driving fun and efficiency are the key sales arguments – is the decisive factor for the high approval of the dealers, according to Schwarzenbauer. Other reasons the dealers cited for their optimistic view of business prospects included AUDI AG’s effective measures for improving the distribution system as well as successful marketing communication.
“The Audi A3 TDI clean diesel was honored in November as ‘Green Car of the Year.’ A strong message, which we communicated on the most popular platform: with a commercial during the Super Bowl,” Schwarzenbauer said. “Also, we’re proud of the nomination of the R8 V10 as the ‘World Performance Car.’ Both models help promote the brand as a whole – and they help the sales of our high-volume models, the Audi A4, Q5 and A6.”
With its growing image and brand awareness, the brand with the four rings also gained greater market share in the first quarter of 2010. The number of deliveries to customers rose over the first three months of the year by 34.8 percent to 21,315 cars. The A3 TDI clean diesel has now achieved a 56 percent share of the sales of the A3 model range. The Audi Q7 clean diesel accounts for 40 percent of the range. Numerous recent awards show the high status Audi models enjoy among customers in the United States: the Audi Q5 has been named the “most popular model”, according to Forbes magazine, with the fewest days in stock at dealerships.