New BMW 1-Series Aims to Top Audi A3 Sales

The BMW Group throws into the fight the bigger 1-Series to reclaim the No.1 spot from Audi, for the first time since 2008 in the competition for younger customers purchasing entry-level luxury autos.

“The 1-Series has a considerable strategic value for BMW. It’s the gateway for customers in their 30s”
Juergen Pieper a Frankfurt-based Bankhaus Metzler analyst was quoted as saying by

The new strategy for German manufacturers involves reinventing their smallest cars in order to tempt buyers to sample their brands. We’d also mention that the redesigned 1-Series will compete with Audi’s A3 and the rebuilt Mercedes-Benz B-Klasse coming to market this year. The 1-Series will be the best seller for compact vehicles worldwide in 2011 with 210,500 units sold compared with 179,000 for the A3 and 114,000 for the B-Klasse. The hot spot was held by Audi in the past two years, who sold 208,000 A3s, unlike BMW who delivered 195,000 1-Series models last year.

Lifting 1-Series sales is a part of a broader strategy at the Munich-based carmaker to sell more than 2 million units by 2020, and fend off advances by Audi, which aims to pass BMW as the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles by 2015. The new 1-Series may be the last version with rear-wheel drive before BMW switches to front-wheel-drive technology.This is part of the manufacturers plan to expand compact vehicle offerings.
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