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Audi USA has been setting sales records for seven straight years now, and president Scott Keogh thinks that there’s still room to grow.
With more than 210,000 vehicles sold this year, annual sales grew 4% over 2015. Eleven straight months of sales records helped with that, but December especially was big for Audi. With more than 23,000 Audis sold, 2016’s final month was nearly 14% better than 2015’s.
Keogh attributes the high sales to good planning and good investments.
Audi’s dealer network, for instance, has been the recipient of much investment over the last few years, and as a result performances at dealerships have steadily improved. The number of dealers that sold more than 2,000 cars doubled this year, as compared to last.
The marketplace is undeniably tightening, though, admits Keogh, so it’s time to be smart. Focus must be given to growing segments, like luxury SUVs.
Despite that, sedans are still a priority at Audi. Although the market is shrinking, sedans are still big part of the luxury sector, and A4 sales continue to grow, so it won’t be disappearing any time soon.
As for diesel, the bell tolls. Keogh said in a call today that the Q7 TDI might (a word he emphasized repeatedly) return to the US, but that it was the only vehicle even under consideration. Moreover, he said that by 2021 or 2022, the cost of selling a diesel engine in the US would be so high that even the Q7 wouldn’t be worth it.
“TDI has always been a bridge technology,” said Keogh, so the Q7 e-tron, coming in 2018, is definitely the future.
Even though the market has plateaued, Keogh is confident that by continuing to take customers from the luxury big three—BMW, Mercedes, Lexus—that Audi could continue to grow. But with cars like the A3, the majority of whose customers come from non-luxury brands, the stable luxury market is not the brand’s only source of growth.
“We are confident that 2017 will see further growth for the brand with the launch of our largest product offensive in history, starting with the all-new Q5,” said Keogh.