Audi Can't Cope with UK Demand

Audi could have accomplished a record in the UK this year if supply were to meet demand. The German brand encountered a supply shortage of about 10,000 cars. Nevertheless, the company expects to end the year with sales topping 100,000 units, close to 2008's record of 100,845 vehicles sold.

This means that the UK is now Audi's largest export market, leading the US one by a few thousand vehicles.

"I'm disappointed that we have had supply shortages this year, but that will ease in 2011," said UK director Jeremy Hicks at the launch of the A7 Sportback.

Audi's increasing production in China will help free up production in Europe to meet demand, including the UK where the company has an order bank of more than 25,000 vehicles at any given time.

2011 could be a record sales year for the company with the A1 adding a forecast 18,000 sales as well as the new A6 and A7 Sportback. Audi will release details of the revamped A6 next week, before the car is unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January. Until then, the A7 Sportback, the first model to use the A6 platform, will arrive and the company predicts 3,250 sales in 2011 with the new A6 to add about 10,000.

Audi sales for the first ten months of 2010 were up 11% year on year and market share rose from 4.72% to 5%. The A3 will remain the best seller in the Audi line-up, accounting for a third of overall sales, followed by the A4.

The A7, which is scheduled to start deliveries on January 8, will be priced at GBP 45,220 for the 2.8 FSI SE and GBP 49,790 for the 3.0 TDI S-line. Audi claims that the A7's main competitors, the BMW 5 Series GT and Mercedes-Benz CLS, are inferior in all key aspects, including fuel economy and tailpipe emissions.
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