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Old 05-17-2013, 09:20 AM   #1
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Default Audi shifting to high-performance models to propel sales

AN: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dl...#axzz2TYVvi0i8



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(Bloomberg) -- Audi AG, the world's second-largest maker of luxury cars, said high-performance cars like the RS5, as well as the new version of the A3 compact, will help propel sales this year amid intensifying economic headwinds.

"We aim to increase sales of high-performance cars by one third" in 2013, CEO Rupert Stadler said Thursday in the text of a speech delivered at the brand's annual shareholders meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany.

Audi sold about 11,000 of its RS and R8 sports cars last year.

"We want to, and we will, grow further in 2013," Stadler added.

Profit from Audi is critical to financing parent Volkswagen AG's strategy to overtake General Motors and Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's biggest automaker by 2018.

Audi accounted for 56 percent of the VW's first-quarter operating profit and VW CEO Martin Winterkorn pledged last month to increase the group's presence in the premium-car segment, where profit margins are higher than for mass-market models.

Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker, also owns sports-car maker Porsche, British luxury-car producer Bentley and the Lamborghini and Bugatti supercar brands.

Margin forecast

The division is forecasting sales to rise in 2013 after it delivered 1.46 million cars last year.

In the United States, Audi's sales have climbed 16 percent to 47,343 through April, outpacing the overall market's 7-percent gain.

Audi reiterated it expects a "slight" increase in revenue this year and an operating margin at the upper end of its long-term target range.

Operating profit last year climbed 0.6 percent to 5.38 billion euros ($6.9 billion) as revenue rose 11 percent to 48.8 billion euros.

The margin was 11 percent of revenue, above its target of 8 percent to 10 percent. Audi plans to dethrone BMW AG as the world's best-selling premium-car maker by the end of the decade.

It ranks second after overtaking Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz brand in 2011.

Mercedes narrowed the sales gap to both BMW and Audi last month as new versions of its A- and B-Class compacts attracted buyers.

Analysts, including Juergen Pieper at Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt, expect the growth to continue in the second half of the year.

Rivals' sales

Global deliveries in April by Mercedes jumped 12 percent from a year earlier to 116,566 cars and SUVs. Sales at BMW's namesake brand rose 7.5 percent to 130,598 cars and SUVs, while Audi's deliveries increased 6.6 percent to 133,500, according to data from the manufacturers.

BMW's four-month deliveries rose at a faster rate than at its two main competitors, with a 7.1 percent jump to 512,000 cars and SUVs versus Audi's 6.7 percent gain to 503,000 deliveries and 5.6 percent growth to 441,464 at Mercedes.

The German luxury-car makers, all of which are targeting sales increases this year, have fared better than Europe's mass-market auto manufacturers as rising demand in China and the United States offsets a sixth straight year of industrywide declines in their home region.

BMW, Mercedes and Audi are boosting production capacity outside Europe to tap rising demand and reduce exposure to currency swings. Audi held the groundbreaking for a new plant in Mexico earlier this month and is considering to start producing cars in Brazil.

It's adding to an existing plant in Hungary and will open a factory in Foshan, China, later this year.

The expansion is part of Audi's efforts to break out of its Germany-dominated production network. Until four years ago, Audi produced 75 percent of its vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

By 2017, the share of the German plants is forecast to fall to 45 percent as annual production rises to 1.9 million vehicles from 1.5 million units last year, according to data from IHS Automotive. Audi expects produce more cars next year outside Germany than within the country for the first time.


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Old 05-17-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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I'll take a Audi TTS RS if they will lower the price to $35,000
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:44 AM   #3
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maybe if you and Hip both buy one you can get a discount.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:30 PM   #4
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I like Audi cars. They are always short on HP and long on cost IMHO. No car is worth over $40k with a 4cyl. BMW always trumps the Audi in value, driving feel and HP.
Keep in mind the Audi is not a Thoroughbred car like BMW and Mercedes. It's a fancy VW with shared lineage.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
I like Audi cars. They are always short on HP and long on cost IMHO. No car is worth over $40k with a 4cyl. BMW always trumps the Audi in value, driving feel and HP.
Keep in mind the Audi is not a Thoroughbred car like BMW and Mercedes. It's a fancy VW with shared lineage.
Who gives a **** how many cylinders a car's engine has if it performs well?
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
I like Audi cars. They are always short on HP and long on cost IMHO. No car is worth over $40k with a 4cyl. BMW always trumps the Audi in value, driving feel and HP.
Keep in mind the Audi is not a Thoroughbred car like BMW and Mercedes. It's a fancy VW with shared lineage.
You mean I'll have to suffer with this Inline-5 putting out a measly 335hp, a skidpad of .95g, only doing 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in only 12.1 seconds? I'll man up and suffer thru it, I swear! By the way, what crack pipe are you smoking?!

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...ad-test-review
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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I think he was referring mainly to the overpriced and underpowered A4 guys..

I think you all knew that.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
I like Audi cars. They are always short on HP and long on cost IMHO. No car is worth over $40k with a 4cyl. BMW always trumps the Audi in value, driving feel and HP.
Keep in mind the Audi is not a Thoroughbred car like BMW and Mercedes. It's a fancy VW with shared lineage.
The only Thoroughbred part of the new BMWs is the dick driving it.....
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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RS6 Avant, pls may I has? kthx.
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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The only Thoroughbred part of the new BMWs is the dick driving it.....
I'll take a 1 Series M Coupe, and gladly suffer your wrath
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:26 PM   #11
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And what was that that SoDealer was criticizing me about yesterday.... high performance model variants leading to bankruptcy?

Audi as Counterpoint.

If Audi can make more money by making more compelling models, in addition to their regular standard production trim lines, then Subaru can do it at their lower price points, too.

Maybe if Audi sells more and more... the used A5s and S5s will depreciate a little faster, and become a bit more affordable earlier in their useful lives, with fewer miles.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:42 PM   #12
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Audi is a premium car maker, Subaru is not. Audi can ask for $60k for an S/RS car, people would laugh at a Subaru over $35k.

The profit margins just aren't there.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:08 PM   #13
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There are a hell of a lot fewer people that can afford a 60K car to begin with, than people who can afford a $35K car, let alone if that 60K car is a rare-ish performance car that shares the garage with something more practical to use.

Margins through larger customer pool, and more unit sales.

WRX STI is already over 35K, nearly 40K with options.

An AWD sport coupe body style, and/or a Forester Sport-CUV body style, with the same drivetrain specifications would likely sell for the same prices. Those body styles with WRX-equivalent drivetrains and options, similarly at WRX-equivalent price.

I am not asking for Subaru to build luxury cars, I am asking that they bolster their performance lineup, that they have let slide too long now.

WRX and WRX STI are more popular, and more often seen on the road than an Audi S-car. and RS cars are FAR, FAR more rare than that.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Integra96 View Post
Who gives a **** how many cylinders a car's engine has if it performs well?
You're thinking like a Subaru enthusiast, which is not the market we're talking about here.

Have you driven an F30 BMW 328i and an E90 BMW 328i? The smaller N20 turbo engine in the F30 has better fuel economy and a broader torque band, but compared to the I6 in the E90 it just doesn't feel as good once you get over 4000rpm. It sounds awful.

Luxury car buyers care a lot about refinement. Of course that hasn't stopped Audi from selling a gazillion 2.0T engines in lower end cars.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
WRX and WRX STI are more popular, and more often seen on the road than an Audi S-car. and RS cars are FAR, FAR more rare than that.
Not when im in LA and San diego.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:02 AM   #16
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Not when im in LA and San diego.
Ding!
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by 808subbie View Post
Not when im in LA and San diego.
Not here in Long Island or NYC either. I see an "S" car wayyyyy more often then I see a wrx/sti drive by. Everyone and their mother seems to have an S5 as if the A5 wasn't even available.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Integra96 View Post
Who gives a **** how many cylinders a car's engine has if it performs well?
Have you driven the BMW or Audi and compared the 4cyl to the 6 cyl?
Although you can say the numbers look equal the driving experience is vastly different. If you want basic transportation with prestige then take the savings and go for the 4. Better yet buy a Japanese 4 banger.Audi still has many reliability problems. If driving feel is important you will go 6 or 8. As for the 5 Audi motor I like it and has great feel and charter. I have owned 5 Audi GT coupes in past including a UR Quattero.
I am OK with a 4 banger is a sub 3000lbs and sub $35000. car. I own a BRZ now and quite happy with the power output. I also own a 6cyl Nissan GT-R but that car is too heavy and too $$ to even consider a 4.
My crackpipe is called knowledge and not making my opinion what the magazines tell me it should be. I travel internationally and drive many cars. I worked my way through school as a mechanic.

Last edited by Masterauto; 05-20-2013 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:55 AM   #19
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Not here in Long Island or NYC either. I see an "S" car wayyyyy more often then I see a wrx/sti drive by. Everyone and their mother seems to have an S5 as if the A5 wasn't even available.
I bet you see more Cadillac and Lincolns on LI and NYC metro.A pickup truck is almost unseen as illegal to drive on most roads, parkways etc. Certainly not true of the left coast.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
Have you driven the BMW or Audi and compared the 4cyl to the 6 cyl?
Although you can say the numbers look equal the driving experience is vastly different. If you want basic transportation with prestige then take the savings and go for the 4. Better yet buy a Japanese 4 banger. If driving feel is important you will go 6 or 8. As for the 5 Audi motor I like it and has great feel and charter. I have owned 5 Audi GT coupes in past including a UR Quattero.
I am OK with a 4 banger is a sub 3000lbs and sub $3500 car. I own a BRZ now and quite happy with the power output. I also own a 6cyl Nissan GT-R but that car is too heavy and too $$ to even consider a 4.
I think my post was misunderstood. I was implying that IF a 4 cylinder engine happened to be refined and smooth (part of "perform" in my mind) like a 6, 8, or 10 cylinder engine, then it shouldn't matter the engine layout.

I agree the cylinder count generally correlates with mechanical refinement.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:07 PM   #21
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Who gives a **** how many cylinders a car's engine has if it performs well?
my ears do!
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:26 AM   #22
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No car is worth over $40k with a 4cyl.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:15 AM   #23
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I bet you see more Cadillac and Lincolns on LI and NYC metro.A pickup truck is almost unseen as illegal to drive on most roads, parkways etc. Certainly not true of the left coast.
There do exist Lincolns here, as Town Cars in livery guise and MKZs for the corporate schmoes leasing their rides.

Cadillac is represented by Escalades predominantly, with the CTS, ATS, and XTS a relatively rare sight.

Audi has sold a ton of A5/S5/A4/A6 models but the high end is owned by the rare 7 series and the not-rare-at-all S550 4Matic.

Finally, there are a ton of pickup trucks out here, too, both of the lifted brotato variety and the laden-with-ladders work truck flavor. Pickups are allowed on the parkways. Commercial (box) trucks aren't, and, besides, there's always the unrestricted Long Island Expressway.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:21 AM   #24
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I think masterauto is gunning for the most 'tastic posts in a year.

Do we have derp of the year award?
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterauto View Post
I bet you see more Cadillac and Lincolns on LI and NYC metro.A pickup truck is almost unseen as illegal to drive on most roads, parkways etc. Certainly not true of the left coast.
Not sure if its contributed to the whole "bro" movement in trucks or not but I see a lot more pickups now. People are just as superficial as ever over here but with the more luxurious editions of the ram and tundra being released I have seen a huge increase in trucks. Unfortunately people here suffer from the whole "keeping up with the jones'" routine and buy cars way out of their price range. A large majority of the cars I see at the repo auction nowadays are higher end cars that people reached too far out of their price range to purchase.
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