The revamped Audi A3 sedan has helped the German luxury carmaker post its best April sales and its second-best month in the United States ever. Audi sold 2,159 units of the revamped A3 in its first full month in dealerships, helping the brand surge 19 percent to 15,653 vehicles in April, the luxury carmaker said in a statement.
With the April results, Audi has now posted 40 record monthly sales in a row, and is on pace to topping its annual sales target of 200,000 unit by 2020 “a good deal sooner,” according to Scott Keogh, Audi’s US president.
Audi sold around 158,000 vehicles in the US in 2013 and is trying to compete against main rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz in capturing a chunk of the nation’s luxury car segment, which is expected to grow 15 percent by 2018.
Keogh expects luxury vehicles to account for around 11.6 percent of US auto sales, with gains coming from entry-level units like the A3. In theory, lower-priced vehicles are critical for BMW and Mercedes to attract young buyers and keep them as their income level moves up.
Audi should have an advantage over BMW and Mercedes as it could seek the help of parent Volkswagen, Kevin Tynan, an auto analyst with Bloomberg Industries, told Bloomberg News in an interview. However, Volkswagen itself has been struggling in the US, thereby shifting the load to the Audi A3, which carries a starting price of $29,900.
Tynan said that since Audi can’t seem to use VW as a feeder brand, so it is now using the A3 to fill its own feeder role. The A3 is facing strong competition from the Mercedes-Benz CLA coupe, which sub-$30,000 price have attracted new buyers and helped the brand become the best-selling luxury carmaker last year. Mercedes delivered 1,575 CLAs in April, when it sold a total of 25,887 units.
“The launch of the all-new A3 Sedan gives Audi an even broader product portfolio and the opportunity to reach more luxury buyers in the premium compact segment,” said Mark Del Rosso, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Audi of America. “In its first month of retail sales, the Audi A3 was a top seller in April, with over 2,000 vehicles sold.” [source: Audi]