Audi USA: Sales Grow, But It’s Still Not Enough

The German luxury carmaker’s U.S. sales might be up 11% in 2007 with total sales set to hit the 90,000 mark this year, but no one, including Audi of America Chief Johan De Nysschen, is smiling. According to a report from Businesses Week, Audi is not only loosing money in the American market for the past 20 years, but Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of Volkswagen (VOWG), which owns Audi, has set a sales target of 200,000 sales per year by 2015.

Audi will unveil several products until then including the all-new A4 next year and in 2009; the BMW X3 sized Q5, the compact A1 and a hybrid version of the Q7 that should help boost sales. Note however that, even if everything goes well, Audi will be short of its main adversaries as Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, are all on their way to 300,000 units per year in the U.S. -Continued after the jump

The road to 200,000 units a year is definitely not easy one as Johan De Nysschen has to deal with a series of problems the biggest one being the weak dollar. While Audi’s rivals build several vehicles on U.S. grounds thus reducing losses, the German carmaker won’t be building in America any time soon. Even if Volkswagen establishes a plant in the U.S, it’s useless, as Audi has stepped away from sharing engineering platforms with VW.

Another problem that Johan De Nysschen faces is Audi’s mediocre quality of customer handling and its non-exclusive showrooms. From 270 dealers, only 90 have up-to-date exclusive sales floors and repair bays -and we’re talking about a company that sells cars with a starting sticker of $26,000. Around 93 dealers have multiple brands on the selling floor and about another 90 still carry Volkswagen and Porsche models on the same floor. If anything, Johan De Nysschen has his hands full.

Via: Business Week , Pic: Carscoop

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