Jon Zammett, head of public relations for Audi UK explains: “The UK is now the biggest export market for Audi in the world having overtaken the USA earlier this year.
We could overtake Mercedes before the end of this year but we are not indulging in any tactical selling.
“Our growth for the brand will take place as we introduce new models in sectors where we do not currently compete”.
This year Audi expects to sell between 750,000 and 800,000 new vehicles worldwide but in five years’ time with the Q7 and other new and additional models added to the line-up it is potentially possible for the manufacturer to reach the one million mark.
“In the UK, once Q7 is introduced early in 2006 this model alone will add up to 10,000 sales to our annual overall volume,” says Zammett. By 2008, the prestige brand could be selling 100,000 units a year in the UK.
“In sectors where we choose to compete with BMW and Mercedes, our sales are on a par with them,” he adds. “But without an SUV or a three-door A4, we do not have such a wide range of vehicles to compete with.”
In addition to the Q7, which is expected to cost almost £36,000, Audi will be introducing its new A6 Avant estate models in March 2005, followed by an A4 Drophead, the 425bhp RS4 Saloon and later RS4 Avant versions. A mid-engine sports car is scheduled for 2006-2007.
In the UK Audi expects to finish the year with 78,000 sales, an increase of 8% over 2003. In the first 10 months of this year Audi sold 67,984 new cars, Mercedes-Benz 70,557 and BMW 82,543.