Audi is banking on its Q line of sports utility vehicles to help it surpass BMW brand as the best-selling luxury car maker in the world by 2020. Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler remarked that its Q range would account for 33 percent to 40 percent of its target 2 million global sales in 2020. Currently, the Q range just accounts for a quarter of the carmaker’s sales.
The demand for luxury medium SUVs in Europe grew 24 percent to 407,512 units in 2012, in contrast to the demand in the overall market that dropped 8 percent. Premium SUVs are also increasingly becoming more popular in growing markets like China, the United States and Russia, leading Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz to launch new models as they compete to become the best-selling premium carmaker in the world.
BMW currently holds the No. 1 crown, but No. 2 Audi and No. 3 Mercedes are undertaking efforts to get the top spot by the end of the decade. Audi sales chief Luca De Meo told Automotive News Europe that the carmaker is bullish about SUVs since global demand for the vehicles is surging. De Meo said that they expect global sales of SUVs to rise by at least 50 percent to 17 to 18 million units by 2020 from around 12 million in 2012, adding that the carmaker wants to benefit from the opportunity.
De Meo remarked that Audi expects global sales to rise around 20 percent to over 80 million vehicles by 2020, from 67 million in 2012. Audi's Q range – which includes the subcompact Q3, compact Q5 and the large Q7 -- is expected to double in size by the target date. Audi is developing the Q2, Q4 and Q6 as a sportier alternative to its current range, a person privy to the matter told Bloomberg.