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Audi dealers see profitability double

Profits at Audi’s retail network have doubled in the last year, according to Jeremy Hicks, director of Audi UK.

Sales for the first half of the year are up 20% compared to the same period in 2006. And the increase has been driven largely by new cars in new segments, such as the Q7 and A5.

“We’re very happy with our dealer network,” said Hicks. “Performance is pretty consistent across the whole of the UK and what’s great is that it’s not wholly dependent on any certain regions or model ranges.

“New and used car sales are up, as is aftersales. And we’re working on reducing incremental overheads that our dealers have challenged us about.”

Meanwhile, the next big thing for Audi is the new A4 which will go on sale in February.

“Pre-launch activities are due to start in December,” said Hicks. “As the existing A4 has seen one of its best years in 2007, we expect the new model to have a strong introduction.”

In order to improve relationships with dealers, Hicks has worked closely with the dealer council, Audi Business Development Group, since taking his current role.

“Dealer councils can often turn into a whining session. We have made it into more of a strategic forum that only talks about big issues,” he told AM. “Small issues are dealt with offline.”

The manufacturer is continuing to roll out its interior Advanced SR corporate identity concept. “This is going progressively,” said Hicks. “We want dealers to take it up as and when it suits them.

They would never forgive us if we forced them to adopt it within a certain time frame.”

Audi has a new architectural concept, called Terminal, which will be allowed to evolve into the market place as new builds go ahead.

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