Audi recorded a phenomenal growth in the financial year 2013-14, registering sales of 10,126 units retaining the top spot. The growth for luxury car makers comes in spite of the general slowdown in the automotive market, and it seems a good time for luxury players. The company recorded impressive sales in the first quarter of 2014 as well; the Ingolstadt based manufacturer registered 2740 units in the period of January-March 2014, while the company sold an impressive 1404 units of its vehicles in March 2014 alone. Audi also becomes the first luxury manufacturer in India to dispatch over 10,000 units of vehicles in a single year.
Audi India’s performance saw a steep rise in March 2014. The company managed a growth rate of 18 percent, compared to last year’s sales of 1104 units for the same month. During the first quarter of 2014, arch rival Mercedes-Benz too managed to sell 2554 units, still a distant second compared to Audi’s 2740 units for the same period. Mercedes recorded total sales of 9548 units during the last fiscal registering an increase of around 32 percent, breaking its own previous record. Mercedes is seeing a massive surge in demand for its new S-Class while the front-wheel drive cars (A and B-Class) are doing impressive numbers as well.
However, sales figures of the two German firms are not comparable in India at least; while Audi reports wholesale figures that comprise of vehicles dispatched to dealers, Mercedes-Benz reports the number of vehicles sold to customers. The automotive market witnessed sluggish sales ever since the beginning of the last financial year, with an overall sales drop of 5 percent. However, the customer base for luxury manufacturers seems largely unaffected by the slowdown. The luxury space currently constitutes 2 percent of the overall auto market.
Audi states that it was the only company to pass the complete excise benefit to its customers and that has also helped the company grow which is visible in the sales figures of March 2014. The automaker also expanded its dealership base opening new showrooms in Nashik, Vishakhapatnam and Udaipur and is working upon having 40 dealerships by the year end. Audi’s next major launch will be in the entry-level luxury sedan space with the much awaited A3 being launched this year. The third German, BMW is yet to post its sales figures for the last fiscal.