Audi's Car Supply Shortage Hurting U.S. Sales
"We are short of everything," said the Audi official, quoted by the Automotive News.
Right now, Audi has half the inventory it normally carries. To solve the shortage Audi USA will get 3,000 units above its requested allocation for 2010, says de Nysschen. He says the shortage of Q5 and Q7 SUVs is particularly acute, these two models being the most successful in the U.S. In the first quarter of 2010, Audi sold 21,315 vehicles in the United States, 35 percent more than in the same period in 2009. Audi had on April 1 a 29-day supply of vehicles, almost a third of the supply recent peak of 88 days in February 2009.
The shortage of vehicles was caused by Audi's decision to cut the U.S. allocation for 2009 by 6,000 vehicles because of the U.S. sales meltdown, de Nysschen says. Sales were higher than expected in late 2009, especially in December, and the trend continued through March. But Audi's president also sees the bright side of the problem, that vehicles are selling quickly, cutting financing and other costs for dealers.
Audi also was able to keep incentive spending flat during the first quarter while the rest of the industry pumped money into spiffs to compete with beleaguered Toyota's deals. According to De Nysschen, Audi is using the incentive money primarily to boost residuals on leased cars.