This is Part 4 of a 5-part series dedicated to the Frankfurt Motor Show. You can read Part 1 about Tesla here, Part 2 on Maserati and the Frankfurt car landscape here and Part 3 with my Top 30 photos here. At the show I had the pleasure to speak with Moritz Drechsel from Audi, and I really wanted to talk about the record performance of the A3 in Germany last month where it ranked #2 for the first time in the 16 year-history of the nameplate. I learnt that most of this success could be attributed to the Sportsback 5-door version, launched in its current form only 6 months ago and already accounting for 75% of sales in the country!
The A3 sedan model, called ‘Limousine’ locally, goes on sale this very month of September 2013 and could lift the nameplate’s sales further up, although Western Europe is clearly not where the meat of the market is for a compact sedan. Globally, compact sedans account for a huge 50% of all passenger cars sales and this is the ratio Audi is aiming at for the A3 sedan by the end of the current generation’s lifecycle. But A3 sedan sales will be coming mainly from China and the US where the model launches in 2014, and Eastern European countries like Russia and Turkey on which Audi also counts a lot.
Globally, Audi is on track to deliver another record year. For comparison, 2012 ended with 1.455 million units, 28% or 405,000 of which coming from China. This Chinese ratio could climb to one third very soon. In 2005 Audi set themselves the target to double global sales in 10 years, meaning reaching 1.5 million units by 2015. At the current rate, this milestone will be achieved by the time 2013 comes to an end, or 2 years early… Not bad for a premium brand!