For the first time, Audi AG surpassed Mercedes-Benz in global quarterly new car sales. The Volkswagen AG premium brand moved 264,100 worldwide, as compared to Mercedes Benz, which sold 248,500 between January to March 2010. For Audi, the quarterly sales result was a new company record and 25.9 percent above the same period last year.
The company’s goal is to become the “most successful luxury automaker in the world by 2015,” and it aims to sell 1.5 million cars a year. Audi finished 2009 in third place behind number one brand, BMW and second-ranked Mercedes in global premium-brand new car sales. BMW will report its global car sales later this month. Depending on those results, there could be a new leader. At the very least, Audi will hold on to the No. 2 spot.
“We expect continued growth compared to last year in the second quarter of 2010,” Audi sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer said in a statement. One of the main reasons Audi pulled ahead of Mercedes is because of its dominance in China. Audi delivered 51,449 vehicles in China during the first three months of the year, twice as much as Mercedes’ 24,100 units and well ahead of BMW’s Q1 total of 34,179. For March 2010 , Audi’s worldwide sales came to 110,400 vehicles, an increase of 22.2 percent year on year, when all premium automakers were hit by the global slump in demand for luxury cars.
The top executives at Audi should deserve a big fat bonus this year. Vorsprung durch Technik!