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AUDI AG: new record year with over 1.74 million deliveries in 2014

  • Worldwide sales increase by 10.5 percent
  • Audi CEO Rupert Stadler: "Successful year 2014 is evidence of our brand strength"
  • Sales chief Luca de Meo: "In the United States, Audi is growing at almost three times the rate of the market"
  • New all-time high in Europe and extended leadership in Chinese premium market

In 2014, AUDI AG clearly exceeded its goal of 1.7 million deliveries: By year-end, the company handed over around 1,741,100 cars to customers, 10.5 percent more than in 2013. The company was thus once again able to accelerate its growth pace and achieved with around 165,600 additional customers the second-highest volume increase in its history. The coveted SUV models* (+15.8%) and the A3 family* available worldwide for the first time in 2014 (+53.2%) contributed primarily to the strong sales total. In December, Audi continued to post double-digit growth and concluded the year with sales up 14.7 percent to around 150,000 units for the month.

"2014 is impressive evidence of the Audi brand's strength," says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. "We accomplished a very successful record year even before the second stage of our model initiative. Meanwhile, conditions in many markets continue to be challenging."

Sales chief Luca de Meo emphasizes the ongoing globalization of AUDI AG's business as an important success factor: "Last year, we advanced in all regions around the world and gained market share. We increased our lead in the Chinese premium segment and concluded the year in Europe significantly above the pre‑crisis level of 2007. On the U.S. market, Audi is growing at almost three times the rate of total automotive sales." Overall, Audi achieved new all‑time highs in 50 countries in 2014. Globally, the company's deliveries increased by more than 100,000 units for the fifth year in a row. Compared to sales of 949,729 units in 2009, almost 800,000 more customers chose the brand with the four rings last year.

In the United States, deliveries more than doubled in the same period of time, from 82,716 automobiles in 2009 to 182,011. In 2014, the brand with the four rings achieved an increase of 15.2 percent in the United States. With 19,238 deliveries, December was the strongest sales month ever for Audi of America, and the 48th record in a row - as in 2011, 2012 and 2013, Audi again succeeded in beating the respective prior‑year volume each month in 2014. The Q5* played a significant role in this, rising to become the best‑selling Audi model in the United States for the first time with 42,420 units (+5.1%). The full‑size SUV Q7* also made significant progress in its ninth year of sales, increasing 15.9 percent. In the compact segment, the Q3* extended Audi's SUV portfolio on the U.S. market in fall; moreover, the A3 Sedan* celebrated its successful premiere at American dealerships in spring. Canada (+19.5%) and Mexico (+10.5%) also contributed to Audi's successful year in North America with double‑digit growth. Despite difficult market conditions in several countries, sales in South America also increased considerably for AUDI AG, above all in Brazil (+89.9% to 12,350 cars). Demand in that country grew faster than expected, resulting in dealerships running low on cars at the end of the year.

2012 Automobile of the Year: Audi A7

From our January, 2012 issue / By Joe Lorio / Photos by A. J. Mueller
Sometimes, the Automobile of the Year is a dramatic about-face for its manufacturer. Other times, it is a car that breaks new ground technologically. Some years, it is a spectacular upgrade from its predecessor. This year, it's none of those things.

Automobile Magazine's 2012 Automobile of the Year, the Audi A7, does not represent a dramatic change of pace for its maker. Audi has been building handsome, fast, and rewarding luxury cars for some time now. Anchored by Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive, bristling with of-the-moment technologies, and surrounding its passengers with an artfully crafted interior, the A7 is exactly in keeping with the cars that this brand has been turning out. As editor-in-chief Jean Jennings said, "It's the culmination of everything Audi has promised."

The A7 may not usher in any major new technology, but the list of leading-edge features it does offer is impressive. Inputs to the navigation system can be made by drawing them on a touch pad with your finger (which requires less eyes-away-from-the-road time than more traditional methods), and the navigation also incorporates Google Earth imagery. The car can function as a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot. LED front accent lighting -- which was pioneered by Audi and has since been much copied -- is standard, and full-LED active headlamps are available. Audi's all-wheel-drive system isn't just a bad-weather security blanket; the rear torque bias provides the sportier, more responsive cornering of a rear-wheel-drive car with the ability to put more power to the ground.

The A7 cannot be a dramatic upgrade over its predecessor, because it has no direct predecessor. Slipped into the lineup between the A6 and the A8 sedans, the A7 is something new from Audi. True, as a swoopy, four-door "coupe," the A7 is thematically similar to the Mercedes-Benz CLS. But as a four-door hatchback, the A7 is something else again.

Still, we will admit that the A7 is a car that snuck up on us. It looks good in pictures, but it's much more striking in person. The front visage is both sleek and imposing; in the side view, the car appears elongated, as if tapered by the wind. Move around to the rear, and the A7 is simply captivating. Who ever thought a hatchback could be so sexy? The seduction was underway.

The closer you get to the A7, the better it looks. Slip inside, and it looks better still. The Audi-liscious interior does not disappoint. It's modern and luxurious yet cosseting and comfortable, mile after mile. Granted, things are more snug in the back seats than they are in a traditionally shaped sedan, and the center rear position has been sacrificed. But who wants to sit in the center position of a rear bench anyway? And the dramatic shape has a practical benefit. Under the enormous, power-operated rear liftgate is nearly twenty-five cubic feet of cargo space -- more if you fold the rear seatbacks. That's an almost SUV-like ability to tote luggage, but no SUV looks anything like this.

It's not all about looks with the A7, however. This car moves with grace and ease. There is only one engine, but what an engine it is. A 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, it makes 310 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, the latter from 2900 rpm. That output is distilled through a superlative and highly efficient eight-speed automatic transmission. A dealer friend of ours tells us that some customers are skeptical of the A7 because it doesn't have a V-8. They shouldn't be. The muscular six makes this sleek Audi as fast as it appears -- we clocked the car's 0-to-60-mph time at 5.0 seconds -- and yet unlike a thirsty V-8, the supercharged six exhibits healthy, modern drinking habits, nursing a gallon of premium over twenty-eight highway miles.

A relaxed, long-legged cruiser, the A7 hoovers up the interstate. It also attacks corners with a verve that the rear-wheel-drive purists on our staff found surprising. At the same time, it proved supple over beat-up pavement despite its high-fashion, twenty-inch wheels and low-profile rubber. It was even surprisingly at home on the racetrack, where all-wheel-drive sedans are usually an uncooperative mess of understeer. As associate editor Eric Tingwall pointed out, "Whether it's commuting, being driven hard, or touring, the A7 can please any driver."

Indeed, its excellence in any one area does not come at the expense of its competence in any other. Speaking of expense, however, we will acknowledge that this is not an inexpensive car, starting at just over $60,000. It is, however, a highly desirable car, a covetable car. And covetable objects rarely come cheap. Mesmerizing to look at and seductive to drive, the Audi A7 is a car to aspire to -- and an entirely worthy Automobile of the Year. 
Automobile Magazine

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Audi's flagship 2011 A8 sedan is the winner of the 2011 Edmunds.com Breakthrough Technology Award. The award is given each year to a vehicle that sets the standard for intuitive, practical and affordable technology that enhances safety and convenience for drivers and passengers. Any new vehicle available for sale within the U.S. within the last year is eligible.

The 2011 Audi A8 stands out because of two innovative technologies: MMI Touch and Google Earth mapping. MMI Touch, the first automotive touchpad application, allows drivers to input characters for navigation destinations or access contacts in a connected Bluetooth phone by tracing them with a finger. The interface is also backed with voice-recognition for those who prefer not to input this information digitally. The Audi A8 is also the first car to use Google Earth for nav system mapping to give drivers a more realistic view of their surroundings.

In addition to these two technologies, the A8 is packed with other electronics that make it stand out, even in the large luxury sedan segment where bells and whistles are the norm.

These include a 1,400-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, with B&O trademark Acoustic Lens tweeters that pop up out of the dash, and 10.2-inch video monitors attached to the back of the front seats that are part of an optional rear-seat entertainment system.

The Audi A8 also debuted with several safety-technology firsts. The navigation system will scout out a route and make adjustments to the adaptive cruise control and adaptive headlights according to what the car encounters on the road. The A8 is also the first car with a rear collision-warning system.
Inside Line


HERNDON, VA -  An Audi engine earned a spot on the prestigious Ward's 10 Best Engines Award for the ninth time in the past 11 years. The listing for 2011, just released by Ward's, named the 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 in the Audi S4 among the world's most advanced powertrains.

This marks the second year in a row that the 3.0L TFSI engine in the Audi S4 made the Ward's list.

"Audi distinguishes itself through excellence in engineering and there's no better example of that than the 3.0L TFSI Supercharged V-6 engine, " said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. "It's an exceptional demonstration of how Audi pushes to maximize efficiency without reducing performance.We're gratified by this important recognition from the editors of Ward's."

In its 17th year, the Ward's 10 Best Engines competition is designed to recognize powertrains that set new benchmarks in their respective vehicle segments.

"The one thing they have in common is they all are stand-out performers in their own way and sell the value proposition of the vehicles they power," said Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of Ward's AutoWorld magazine.

Tom Murphy, executive editor of Ward's Auto World magazine, speaking for the editors who selected the Ward's 10 Best Engines had this to say about the Audi S4 supercharged V6:
The Audi 3.0 TFSI engine "muscles its way onto the list for a second straight year with a stealthy 333 hp and 325 lb.-ft. (440 Nm) of torque that peaks at 2,900 rpm and holds steady until 5,300 rpm. The effect is all-consuming, washing over the driver like waves on a beach.

"Through it all, the TFSI V-6 manages better than 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km) on the highway during Ward's evaluation. Having replaced a gas-guzzling 4.2L V-8, the forced-induction V-6 demonstrates how engine downsizing need not come with a performance penalty."

Automotive Fleet 

HERNDON, VA - For the fourth time in the past three years, an Audi model has won a prestigious EyesOn Design Award recognizing the best of automotive design displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

This year the panel of judges recognized the redesigned Audi A6 as the "Best Production Vehicle" design displayed at the Detroit show, which ranks among the world's premier automotive exhibitions.

"This is strong feedback that we have done our homework," Achim Badstuebner, head of exterior design for AUDI AG, said in accepting the EyesOn Design trophy.

Audi has received four EyesOn Design Awards over the past three years. In 2010, EyesOn Design judges gave the same award to the new Audi A8 luxury flagship sedan, which went on sale in the U.S. in late November 2010. The production car design award went to the Audi R8 V10 in 2009 and that year's award for "Best Concept Vehicle" design went to the Audi Sportback Concept, which was shown in Detroit in 2009 and provided significant style cues to the sleek lines seen in the all-new Audi A7 due to arrive this Spring.

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