Audi recently posted quite a few sales records for 2015, as it saw the best year in the brand’s history, in terms of sales figures. Key factors in Audi’s sales surge in 2015 were the global launches of the brand-new Audi Q7 and Audi A4. However, despite the record breaking year, the Ingolstadt-based brand is still behind Mercedes-Benz, as is its Bavarian neighbor, BMW. Much of the reasoning for this has to do with the Chinese market.
The Chinese market for automobiles is growing tremendously and is becoming one of the most important car markets for premium automakers. Car companies like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are all fighting for Chinese market-supremacy, but it seems as if the Stuttgart-based brand is taking the lead.
Last year, Audi and BMW both saw single digit sales percentage increases in the Chinese market, which isn’t bad considering that the Chinese had a bit of a lull, in terms of sales, last summer. However, Mercedes-Benz crushed both of the with a massive 52 percent sales increase in China last year.
In terms of global sales, Audi saw a 4 percent increase in sales this past month, selling 143,150 cars, which broke Audi’s January sales record. But Audi still managed to dip below Mercedes-Benz for the first time since 2010, as Benz sold 150,814 cars. However, Audi did manage to beat BMW out for January, who only sold 133,883 units.
According to Hamburg-based M.M. Warburg analyst Marc-Rene Tonn, “Mercedes still has the strongest product momentum and should come out on top of global sales rankings at the end of 2016,” This is largely to do with the massive popularity growth of the new C Class and the upcoming E Class luxury sedan.
So Audi has quite a bit of an uphill battle to face against Mercedes-Benz, in terms of sales. BMW is currently on the back end of things, as its 3 Series and 5 Series sedans await replacement. But, with Audi’s new Q7 and A4, it’s possible Audi can catch up, especially since the A4 doesn’t go on sale in the US until later this month.