Tags: Audi | Porsche | luxury | car

Audi Joins Porsche With Record Sales on Luxury Demand Jump

Thursday, 09 January 2014 11:41 AM

Audi, Porsche and Bentley sold more cars than ever as the Volkswagen AG luxury divisions rolled out new models to tap rising demand from the world’s wealthy.

Audi’s deliveries last year rose 8.3 percent to 1.58 million cars and sport-utility vehicles, helped by revamps of the A3 compact, the company said today in a statement. Porsche posted a 15 percent jump to 162,145 deliveries as demand for the Boxster roadster and related Cayman sports car more than doubled. Bentley’s sales surged 19 percent to 10,120 autos.

Sales of luxury cars have outpaced growth in mass-market vehicles as incomes rise in countries such as China, India and Russia, and spending bounces back in the U.S. Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen is expanding its premium brands with models such as Bentley’s first SUV and Porsche’s Macan crossover in a strategy to overtake Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. as the car industry’s biggest seller by 2018.

Porsche is targeting further delivery growth this year, as feedback on the Macan presentation has been “very positive,” and the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car is “not far” from being sold out, Matthias Mueller, head of the division, said today on a conference call. The Macan, priced starting at 57,930 euros, is scheduled to go on sale in Germany on April 5.

Volkswagen rose as much as 1 percent and was trading up 0.3 percent at 201.75 euros at 4:44 p.m. in Frankfurt, the highest price this year. The stock has gained 17 percent in the past 12 months, valuing VW at 91.6 billion euros ($124 billion).

Earnings Contributions

Nine-month group operating profit at Volkswagen totaled 8.56 billion euros, with earnings amounting to 3.74 billion euros at Audi, 1.89 billion euros at Stuttgart, Germany-based Porsche and 98 million euros at Crewe, England-based Bentley. Volkswagen also owns Italian supercar producer Lamborghini, whose profit figures are included in Audi’s numbers.

Audi has a target of replacing Bayerische Motoren Werke AG as the world’s biggest maker of premium vehicles by the end of the decade. The division surpassed the 1.5 million-delivery mark two years earlier than planned in 2013, with A3 sales rising 19 percent and the Q line-up of SUVs posting a 24 percent increase, Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi said today. A sedan version of the A3 that went on sale in some markets last year is scheduled to enter the U.S. and China in early 2014.

“In the past four years alone, Audi has attracted more than 600,000 new customers,” Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler said in the statement.

Rolls-Royce Gains

BMW has yet to release group delivery figures for 2013. Its Rolls-Royce super-luxury division in the U.K. said today that annual sales rose 1.5 percent to 3,630 cars. Demand was helped as the $234,000 Wraith, Rolls-Royce’s first coupe since Munich-based BMW took the brand over in 1998, joined the line-up in the final weeks of the year.

Among the world’s largest national automotive markets, China generated the biggest growth at Audi last year with a 21 percent jump, followed by the U.K. with a 15 percent gain. Porsche’s U.S. deliveries rose 21 percent, while demand in China increased 20 percent.

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Audi, Porsche and Bentley sold more cars than ever as the Volkswagen AG luxury divisions rolled out new models to tap rising demand from the world's wealthy.
Thursday, 09 January 2014 11:41 AM
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