The Audi A3 Sportback
Huge rise in demand for the prestigeGerman marques as Audi UK sees another record year

As the steady migration towards prestige cars continues, Audi UK is about to report its fifth successive record sales year, and is currently outrunning Audi of America for the title of most successful Audi importer outside Germany. Sustained demand in Britain has ensured that Audi UK is on course for 77,500 sales this year - an increase of around 11 per cent on 2003’s record-breaking figure. Britain looks set to deliver the largest contribution outside the brand’s home market to the predicted 2004 global sales total of 770,000 units.

This sharp rise is the latest in a series of remarkable leaps since 1995, when 25,555 Audis found homes in Britain. By 1999 this figure had jumped to 40,000 cars, and since 2000 the ascent has been consistently steep, rising from 43,168 sales to 54,037 in 2001, 65,656 in 2002 and 70,107 in 2003.

A key element of the marked upturn in demand has been the extraordinarily rapid evolution of the Audi model range over the past few years. Recent additions to this highly acclaimed line-up have included the new and completely transformed A4 Saloon and Avant, the new five-door A3 Sportback and the technologically advanced A6 executive saloon, also soon to be available in Avant form and with the major benefit of optional air suspension.

Thanks to this young and increasingly diverse range, the average age of the Audi buyer is now up to 10 years lower than other prestige manufacturers’ customer bases, according to the annual New Car Buyers Survey. The brand now boasts an average age of just 42 years and more sub 45-year-old customers than any other prestige competitor.

The increasing spread of Audi models also incorporates an exceptionally comprehensive mix of petrol and diesel engines, and the brand-defining quattro four-wheel-drive system. Audi is still unique in the prestige sector in offering the significant customer benefits of multitronic CVT automatic transmission and the new world benchmark for transmission technology - the advanced DSG double clutch gearbox - now available for the TT sports car and petrol and TDI versions of the A3.

Commenting on the consistent increase in demand in Britain, Director of Audi UK Kevin Rose said: “We are continuing to see massive migration into premium consumer products, including cars. The German prestige brands are attracting the majority of this additional demand, and with the youngest and arguably the most exciting range in the premium sector Audi is enjoying particularly strong sales growth year on year in the UK. We expect to be able to sustain this growth trend as we diversify into new product segments in the coming months.”

The Audi range in 2004 features a total of eleven different models, up from just four as recently as 1993. This widest ever offering has served to attract a much wider spread of customer demand.

Published : 20/12/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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