15 November 2009
Audi Production: 2008
Audi has benefitting from sharing car develoment costs with the VW Group. This has helped it to now threaten the more established German marques in the premium sector. Is it only a matter of time before it dominates this segment?
In 2005, Audi made only 800,000 cars, for 1.3% of the world market. By '08 however, that had climbed to 1,025,000 units and 1.5% share. In '05, 95% of production was in Germany, totally unacceptable for any company with global aspirations. Things are a little better now in that regard, as 2008 figures reveal. 2008 production as follows:
Germany 85% 875,000
Hungary 6% 60,000
Slovakia 5.7% 59,000
Belgium 3% 32,000
Again I know they make cars in China but this is not showing up in the figures. It could be for the same reason as for BMW, not enough local content, so are classed as German made.
Audi has put emphasis on quality interiors although the driving experience through the range of vehicles is a little hit and miss for the standard the premium segment buyer expects. It's emphasis has worked well so far, but Audis need more consistency in the driving experience to achieve on its premium car supremacy ambitions. It is strongest in Europe by far, but lacks true international success to overtake Mercedes or BMW. Taking the next step in growth will be a challenge for Audi, but I suspect VW will accept nothing less from its premium mass produced brand.
The bottom line: I'm surprised Audi have been so successful.