AM Online

Cover feature: Audi overcomes growing pains in push for profit

Rewind 10 years: Audi sales have risen for the fifth consecutive year to 30,327 units, a 1.3% market share. The company has four model lines in the range (A3, A4, A6 and A8), with seven derivatives.

Back to the present: Audi has just hit a record 85,494 units for a 3.65% market share. Dealers have eight model lines with 23 derivatives.

During the previous 10-year period the sales chart shows just one blip – 1999 – when units dipped by 291. Otherwise growth has been relentless.

It’s near perfect progress, but the franchise hasn’t been without its growing pains. Audi went through a network separation from Volkswagen in the late Nineties, which meant huge investments in new showrooms for most retailers. Margins were tight, profits low.

Over the past three years, feedback from the retail network has been increasingly positive – Audi is ranked ninth on 71.9 in the Sewells dealer attitude survey – in spite of some internal shuffling as the carmaker sought regional representation.

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