Factory shortages on the Continent are stopping Audi UK from meeting customer demand

Audi is claiming it could sell up to 10,000 more cars in the UK this year if supply wasn’t being held back by factory shortages on the Continent.

Audi UK has many more customers than production slots allocated for four key models — the A3 hatch, Q5 soft-roader, Q7 seven-seater and A8 luxury saloon.

“We’re having a great year, but forecast that we could sell up to 7000 and 10,000 more cars this year if we had the supply,” says a spokesman for the company.

See pics of the Audi A8 LWB - which has had its UK launch delayed

Three of the models — the A3, Q5 and Q7 — are victims of their own success, Audi simply lacking factory capacity to satisfy worldwide demand.

The A8 is being affected by strong initial demand from China. The new luxury saloon has been planned with a pre-determined production level and suppliers, particularly of interior parts, can only fulfil orders tied to that level of output.

With a limited production level, China is absorbing a larger than anticipated share of the output and a knock-on effect will be a delay to the launch in the UK of the long-wheelbase A8.

Read more on Audi A1 production being increased

Usually Audi UK can fill holes in its demand by taking on factory build-slots that other countries don’t need. “But that’s not happening this year. All the countries are selling well and there’s no sign of extra capacity being freed-up for the UK,” says the spokesman.

To the end of August, Audi has registered 65,850 cars, a 15 per cent increase over 2009. Key rival BMW is having a similarly good year, with 63,376 registrations, a near-16 per cent increase. Mercedes is up nine per cent and Land Rover 61 per cent, while Jaguar is down three per cent.

Audi, BMW and Land Rover are all outperforming the total market, which has risen 13 per cent compared to 2009.

Julian Rendell

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Comments
22

23 September 2010

Hence the term 'Premium'? As in premium levied against something due to demand vs. supply. I wonder how many Audis have been sold this year much lower price than the RRP?

23 September 2010

Interesting that while most posts in the Autocar forums on Audi are negative, Audi;s sales show they are now very clearly right in the mix with BMW and Mercedes. The demand for these premium priced models will mean low discounts and high profits for Audi.

23 September 2010

If Audi cant supply the A8 then just give the customer a highly specced A4...they will never know the difference !

23 September 2010

[quote WooDz]I wonder how many Audis have been sold this year much lower price than the RRP?[/quote]

Too many earlier in the year, but not a lot lately. Although it depends on the model - there are still deals to be had on A4 and A6. Some of the dealers are hopeless at managing their stock levels against their targets, so they were discounting cars to hit targets and then running out of stock, unable to get any more...

23 September 2010

[quote crashbangwallop]Interesting that while most posts in the Autocar forums on Audi are negative, Audi;s sales show they are now very clearly right in the mix with BMW and Mercedes. The demand for these premium priced models will mean low discounts and high profits for Audi[/quote]

I don't think anybody disputes Audi are as you say in the mix with BMW and Mercedes. People have made negative comments because they might not be keen on the make and lets face it, they're just as common as a Ford these days. I know I've said it before, but we shouldn't underestimate the power of Marketing. As with many many things in life, the majority follow each other/stick together and Audi know this. Hence if they push the "I want it as it's the make to have on your drive" then people will buy it, and their relatives might buy it, and their friends might buy it, and quite likely, their neighbours might buy it!

Like someone posted on a thread recently - they had been into an Audi garage and the salesman admitted that his prospects and customers don't ever ask about what's under the skin and are purely interested in the cosmetic aspects of their cars.

23 September 2010

[quote Addy Go Fast]Like someone posted on a thread recently - they had been into an Audi garage and the salesman admitted that his prospects and customers don't ever ask about what's under the skin and are purely interested in the cosmetic aspects of their cars.[/quote]

Hardly unique to Audi - the same would apply to most major brands. Most people (presumably not the majority of posters to this forum, naturally) just aren't that interested in what makes their cars tick anymore...

Pye

23 September 2010

Did anyone notice the article started with "Audi Claims"? This is the press department trying to increase the residuals on a few key models. Lets face it ALL previous generation A8's have suffered badly in the past and now all of a sudden they are rarer than hens teeth! Sorry sir, you can't have a discount we have to order them in you know and of course the Chinese are buying everything the factories produce. Someone's fallen for PR BS!

23 September 2010

I read recently that Audi UK were considering sueing Warrantywise as the latter had claimed the brand was the worst for reliability, based on the claims it was receiving from warranty holders. I wonder what happened with that..

23 September 2010

I must be like the non "Im not " individual in The Life of Brian as as soon as something is marketed as trendy I avoid it like the plague .

Funny how trendy usually means expensive and overrated isnt it . BTW this just isnt applicable to Audi so not popping at Audi alone here .

Much better to have something that will have peolpe trying to pigeon hole you and failing miserably .

23 September 2010

[quote Pye]Did anyone notice the article started with "Audi Claims"? This is the press department trying to increase the residuals on a few key models[/quote]

I can state from experience that this is all true. The Audi forums are awash with stories of lead times in excess of 9 months. My A3 has already taken 6 months and is not due until November, and people ordering now are being told the wait is into April next year on A3 models. Q5 lead times are over 12 months.

The issue with A3s in particular is the popularity of the Black Edition and S-Line models, the Black Edition has special wheels that Audi can't supply quickly enough and the S-Line demand is just huge. Also consider that from a customer point of view, the A3 is more fuel efficient than a Golf (as an example), is cheaper to lease/finance owing to better residuals and has a better "image" and you can see why it is still popular.

I do believe however that there are certain models within each range that you can still get fairly quickly.

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