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Delay in supplies 'frustrates' Audi

Audi is facing up to a “tough and demanding year” in the UK in 2001, said UK boss David Ingram. He blamed frustrating delays in sourcing new models which threatened to hinder their aspirations of climbing to an overall volume of 42,000 from the projected 40,000 units this year.

Mr Ingram said supply problems of both new A3 and the replacement A4 would slow growth.

“Supply of the A3 isn't generous,” he said. “This year we will sell 10,000 in the UK but we could possibly squeeze another couple of thousand out of it if we could get the supply. “In a way it's frustrating not getting the extra numbers we would ideally like but it does have the effect of keeping the credibility of the car strong, holding the residual values, so it's a better ownership proposition. “Over the Audi range we're looking to add 2,000 to increase our volume to 42,000 next year. But it will be difficult because with the changeover of the A4, we won't have full supply until the second quarter, so to achieve that sort of volume with a volume model out of circulation for one quarter is going to be tough.”

Mr Ingram believes 18,000 A4s – comprising new saloon and a mixture of old and new Avants – will be sold next year, climbing to 24,000 in 2002.

Audi unveiled the facelifted A3 which has one-piece headlamps, reworked facia and includes a new six-speed TDI 130bhp. The company showed the new six-litre A8 quattro, the only 12-cylinder saloon with permanent four-wheel-drive.

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