Audi managed to outsell the BMW brand in the first two months of 2014. Audi delivered 242,400 vehicles in the January-February period, 383 more than the BMW brand, according to data from the carmakers. In the same period in 2013, BMW outsold Audi by 429 units. Audi’s sales grew 9.3 percent in the first two months of the year, while BMW’s deliveries gained 8.9 percent.
Audi is planning to launch 17 new or revamped models this year, including the TT sports car, as tries to protect its early lead. The carmaker’s product launches are part of a plan to invest EUR22 billion ($30.4 billion) over five years to capture the best-selling luxury carmaker crown. “Competition in the premium segment is more intense than ever,” Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said.
“We’re ahead of our two main rivals in the first two months, but this doesn’t really interest me much. Our focus is on further growth.” Audi’s early lead underscores the stiffening rivalry among the top three luxury carmakers in the world. Mercedes-Benz managed to narrow the gap to Audi in the first two months of 2014 by almost a third to 26,647 vehicles.
Audi’s strong performance in February was boosted by a 43-percent surge in demand for the A3 compact and a 32-percent gain of the Q7 SUV. “The innovative new models coming out this year, such as the 2-Series Active Tourer and 4-Series Gran Coupe, will give us the momentum to keep growing in 2014,” BMW sales chief Ian Robertson said in a statement.
The new models could help BMW defend its global luxury-car sales crown this year. For this year, BMW is expected will sell 1.77 million cars, topping Audi’s 1.66 million and Mercedes’s 1.56 million, according to IHS Automotive.