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by Brett Davis

BMW is currently the world’s best-selling premium car brand but Audi CEO has plans to take over top position with a host of new models and ongoing success in China.

A recent interview with Automotive News, CEO of Audi, Rupert Stadler talked about his plans for Audi to be top-selling premium brand, “Our target is to become the leading premium brand in the world. It won’t happen in 2010. It won’t happen in 2011. But it will definitely happen.”

Very keen to reach the top, Rupert Stadler is bidding that if the new Audi A1 sells as well as the early orders have indicated, Audi will indeed take the top spot. It’s been all a part of Audi strategic planning though, the A1, “We are the first company in the premium world to really offer a small premium car: something that offers premium in a new way.”

Audi is also looking forward to releasing a bunch of new cars and new technology, which should boost sales in the future, “The all-new Audi A8, and the A4 with the 2.0-liter TDI engine that produces 119gm/km of CO2 and the A3 that produces 99g/km, We also have to mention the Audi e-tron concept that we showed in Frankfurt last year. With this high-performance sports car Audi demonstrated that electric drive is not only a dream, it will be the future,” Rupert Stadler said.

Audi is already seeing increasing sales too, even just compared to last year, some of their new models have really appealed to the market, “If we look back to the first four or five months [of 2010 financial year], we achieved new global sales records. We’ve sold more than 450,000 cars so far, which is an increase of more than 20 percent compared with last year. As markets continue to positively develop, we forecast that we will not only increase our operating profit but will also break through the one million-unit barrier for sales to customers.”

With parts of Asia booming, Audi is happy to be part of a 20-year partnership with them as well. While other manufacturers were out targeting markets in America and Europe, Audi has always dedicated a lot of attention to China, and now it seems it’s paying off. “In 2009, we delivered nearly 159,000 cars to customers in China. Based on current conditions we estimate that this year we will increase our sales to 200,000 units,” Stadler said.

The Audi brand, currently the ‘daughter’ of Volkswagen, has been able to take huge strides in certain directions never previously thought possible. The Audi R8 and diesel Le Mans-winning products produced by Audi are some of the most crucial steps Stadler has had to make during his 20 years with VW/Audi.

The brand has already passed Mercedes-Benz to sit in second place, now it’s simply a matter following through with more quality products to finally take BMW’s top position… so long as BMW haven’t got anything up their sleeves.

(with Automotive News)




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