Audi to upgrade A8 to better compete against Mercedes-Benz S-class

Article by Anita Panait, on August 8, 2013

Audi is upgrading its line-topping A8 later this year to better compete against a new generation of the Mercedes-Benz S class. Audi said in a statement will equip the A8 with new LED headlights, as part of the German carmaker’s bid to report a new sales record in 2013. The German carmaker is also planning its A3 models with high-speed wireless technology to increase its appeal.

Audi confirmed its forecast that its revenues for full year 2013 will increase "slightly," boosted by demand for the Q3 and Q5 sports utility vehicles and the new-generation A3 line. The carmaker is expanding its A3 line include a sedan version that will be marketed in Europe, China and the United States.

Audi aims to sell over 1.5 million vehicles in 2013, two years ahead of its initial target. Audi Chief Financial Officer Axel Strotbek said in the statement that the carmaker is making heavy investments in new products, developing leading-edge technology and expanding its production network worldwide.

Strotbek said that despite challenging economic conditions, Audi is sticking to its goals like posting an operating profit at the upper end of its range of 8-10 percent of sales. Audi is aiming of becoming the best-selling luxury carmaker by the end of the decade, besting fellow German premium carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Audi needs to improve its appeal for the richest vehicle buyers to achieve its goal. Audi is currently behind BMW and Mercedes in the executive-sedan segment, where sold just 38,600 A8s in 2012. In comparison, Mercedes sold 80,300 S-class vehicles and BMW delivered 59,200 units of BMW 7-series.

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