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Competition Between Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz Heats up in USA

Audi of America executives expect a wild and wooly finish to the 2012 U.S. luxury-brand sales race between BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But Audi’s goal for the period is to continue to show strong and steady growth.

In sales reports on Thursday for October, the BMW brand narrowed the U.S. sales lead for Mercedes to just 2,748 vehicles from 5,221 units at the end of September. Meanwhile, Audi reported a 14.5-percent increase in U.S. sales in October over a year earlier.

In its efforts to fend off BMW, Mercedes-Benz is offering as much as $5,000 discounts to VIP customers, according to a report by Bloomberg. And that was even before Audi’s German rivals unveiled their own versions of fourth-quarter promotions that annually make the U.S. luxury-car market a donnybrook at the end.

Meanwhile, the overall objective for the Audi brand is to “maintain our focus on sustained growth,” said Jessica Thor, Manager of Retail Marketing for Audi of America. “We’re not going to duke it out at the end of the year and try to hit a number just for the sake of hitting a number. We want to continue to grow in a healthy way.”

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