Audi kicked off 2018 with substantial sales growth. In January, the brand delivered around 149,100 premium automobiles to customers worldwide, up 20.3% year-on-year. A sharp increase in China (+73.0%)—Audi’s strongest January in China since entering the market 30 years ago—in particular was a key factor, contrasting with the slowdown in sales a year ago as the company negotiated with its local partners.
Audi also again increased sales in North America (+9.8%). In Europe (-2.2%), sales in January were, however, slightly below the record-breaking level from 2017.
In the course of 2018, Audi’s main focus will be on the full-size segment. The new A7 will be launched, and Audi will bring out the next generation of the A6, together with two brand-new full-size SUVs: the Q8 and the all-electric powered Audi e-tron.
The models in the A4 and A5 family accounted for the bulk of growth in January. In this segment Audi delivered about 50% more automobiles to customers than a year ago. Demand for the A4 and A5 held up well specifically in the United States, with sales up more than 71%. Across all models, Audi of America sold 14,511 (+9.9%) premium automobiles, achieving its 85th consecutive record‑breaking month. In North America as a whole, sales at the month-end totaled around 17,850 automobiles (+9.8%).
In Europe, around 60,450 (-2.2%) customers took delivery of their new Audi in January. This slight fall is essentially due to a drop in sales in France (-22.9% to 3,394 automobiles) and Italy (-19.5% to 4,030 automobiles). A year ago, Audi sales enjoyed a very strong start to the year in both countries thanks, among other things, to the newly available Q2. In Spain (+0.4% to 4,949 automobiles), however, sales exceeded the 2017 figure.
The same applies to Audi’s two largest European sales markets. In the UK, sales increased by 0.5% to 11,810 automobiles, despite the shrinking overall market, while sales in Germany were up 0.4% to 23,019 automobiles. In its domestic market, the company started in August 2017 to offer a trade-in bonus for customers who switch from diesel cars that meet the Euro 1 through Euro 4 emission standards to an Audi model with the Euro 6 standard. To date, around 21,500 customers have taken advantage of this offer and replaced their older car.