Then German brand sold just 0.6% more cars last year compared with 2016, but its after-tax income surged to more than £3 billion

Audi has announced a significant leap in operating profit at its annual financial conference, despite sales in 2017 being just 0.6% up on the year before.

Following the announcement that it will build a new Tesla Model S rival called the e-tron GT, the premium car maker confirmed that it sold 1,878,105 Audi vehicles last year, with profit before tax leaping by 57% to €4.7bn (£4.15bn). After-tax profits were up 68.4% to 3.4bn (£3.07bn).

The size of Audi’s business has doubled since 2009, with revenue in 2017 hitting 60bn (£53bn). Although Audi’s headline profit margin for 2017 was 8.4% - in the brand’s target ‘corridor’ of 8-10% - the costs of diesel engine recall in the US and the Takata airbag recall pushed the final figure back down to 7.8%.

Lamborghini, which falls under Audi's control within the VW Group, sold 3815 cars in 2017, up 10.4%. Ducati sales crept up 0.8% to 55,871 units.

The headline figures are especially impressive in light of the fact that some Audi models experienced significant sales declines. The ageing A1 was down more than 16% to 95,725 sales in 2017 and the TT was down 23% to 23,899 sales.

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The A3 and Q3 - both set to be replaced this year - were also well down. The A3 fell 13% to 321,934 sales and the Q3 was down 10.5% to 207,774 units.

However, the Audi Q7 saw very strong global sales of 106,004, up 3.9%, and the A5 shifted 106,824 units, up 58%. Audi’s biggest seller in 2017 was the A4 series, with 341,371 sales, up 1.3%.

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Comments
11

15 March 2018

So sales are only up 0.6% yet profits jump massively. Implementation of cost cutting in the most popular models is clearly starting to pay off... 

15 March 2018

on a more scientific basis it’s partly down to the less profitable model sales falling A1, A3 and the more profitable sellers Q7, A5 rising (maybe VAG accounting practices too).   Rather than replacing the lowest of the low spec (SE) A3 rear indepentent suspension with a cheaper item.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

15 March 2018

"The A3 and Q3 - both set to be replaced this year " A3 won't be replaced to 2019 at the earliest, will probably be 2020.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

15 March 2018

.... no point being honest is there?

Steam cars are due a revival.

15 March 2018

Yeah, great, they cheat and they still do well, makes you sick. Wish the EU would impose massive fines based on profitfor the whole VW Group. They could use the money to retro fit diesel cars with emissions equipment.

XXXX just went POP.

16 March 2018

Nice thought, but Germany is the eu, so it won’t never happen.

15 March 2018

I know nothing about big business accounting, but how they divide development costs of shared items - platforms, engines, drive trains etc between each brand? without knowing this profits of 'brands' within a company are surely irrelevant/incorrect. 

15 March 2018

  Seems to me they dominate the British premium sector.....

Peter Cavellini.

15 March 2018
There was no effect in real life, was there? The only effect was in the 'green' on-line demi-monde which is inhabited solely by virtue-signalling sheeptards.

15 March 2018
Vw is now a four letter word within the auto community. People are losing thier jobs because of the decline in diesel sales. Such misinformation out there. Not all manufacturers cheated, and none in the blatant and extensive manner of vw, but all manufacturers are paying the price...apart from these dodgy b*ggers. It is right that manufacturers need to be held account and forced to robustly develop their cars. Remember, the government just want your votes, journalists are not experts, and the truth is only found from multi sourced research.

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Our Verdict

Audi A3 hero front

Third-gen Audi A3 gets a mild facelift, more equipment, some new engines and a new hot model - but is it the cream of the premium hatch crop?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week