The increasing competition between German luxury carmakers Audi and BMW became more apparent during their respective annual financial results conferences. In Munich, Audi conveyed two strong messages to industry watchers and reporters. Audi noted that it is not just a single brand as it now oversees Volkswagen Group's three Italian units -- Lamborghini, Italdesign Giugiaro and Ducati motorcycles.
Audi also noted that it is penetrating more into the world’s two largest car markets – China and the United States -- with its A3 sedan. During the conference, Audi provided a glimpse of the A3, which is designed to entice American and Chinese buyers who snub hatchbacks and wagons that are popular in Europe. Audi will unveil the A3 sedan on April 20, 2013 at the Shanghai auto show.
A week after Audi’s conference, BMW held its own at its BMW World exhibition center next to its world headquarters in Munich. With its Rolls Royce, Mini and motorcycle divisions, BMW is now considered as an auto group.
During its conference, BMW highlighted its i3 electric car, a model developed as an environmentally friendly personal transport option for megacities around the world. Juliet Schurz, a professor of sociology at Boston College in the US, talked at the conference about the potential buyers of the BMW i3.
She mentioned Bobos, or bourgeois bohemians who combine a bohemian lifestyle while working in high-wage bourgeois corporate jobs. During the conference, Audi also introduced its latest acquisition, Ducati. The audience was provided with earplugs to protect their sense of hearing from the thundering noise coming from a demonstration of the Desmosedici GP13 MotoGp race bikes, piloted by Ducati Team drivers Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.