Despite challenging conditions, Audi can report a positive performance of deliveries to customers for 2019: Approximately 1,845,550 cars represent an increase of 1.8 percent. In all three core markets, the Four Rings delivered more automobiles in 2019 than in the previous year. In China, the company set a new record with a total of 690,083 vehicles delivered (+4.1%). In the United States, deliveries continued at the very high level of 2018 with an increase of 0.4 percent. And demand in Germany increased by 4.3 percent. In the month of December, the company delivered approximately 176,000 cars, 13.9 percent more than in December 2018.
“After a mixed first half of the year, we successfully caught up in the second half,” says Hildegard Wortmann, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “In 2019, we clearly showed the potential of our brand and our young model portfolio. Although the demands placed upon us will remain high in 2020, we have set the course for further growth.”
In terms of the model range, Audi increased its deliveries in the C-SUV segment in 2019 by 46.2 percent compared with the previous year. This is primarily due to the positive performance of the Audi e-tron and Audi Q8, although the models have only recently become available in all core regions. The first all-electric large-scale production model of the Four Rings was launched in Europe in March, came to North America in early summer, and has been available as an imported model in China since November. In a cross-segment electric-SUV comparison, the Audi e-tron is the market leader in Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria. The model is also the first ever electric car to receive the TOP SAFETY PICK+ award in the United States.
In China, Audi delivered more vehicles than ever before last year. 690,083 automobiles represent an increase of 4.1 percent. Audi achieved a new record of 71,487 cars in the month of December (+9.0%). On the one hand, the Four Rings achieved growth in full-year 2019 for the locally produced premium models A4 L (+3.0% to 168,189 units) and Q5 L (+17.0% to 139,297 units). On the other hand, demand for the A8 L flagship in the luxury class had a very positive effect with 12,451 units delivered (+21.6%). The Audi Q2 L e-tron, the first locally produced electric car, also set an important milestone for the electrification of the Chinese model range in the final quarter of 2019. Local production of the Audi e-tron will start by the end of 2020.
In the United States, Audi once again achieved a high volume of deliveries in 2019 and completed the year at the prior-year level with a total of 224,111 automobiles delivered (+0.4%). Throughout the year, the key drivers were once again the new full-size models, with demand rising sharply for each of them (Audi A6 +68.6% to 17,807 cars, Audi A7 +28.6% to 4,955 cars, Audi A8 +85.3% to 2,963 cars). In 2019, one in three Q8 models was delivered to a customer in the USA. Despite strong December sales in the North America region (+12.3% to approximately 29,000 vehicles), deliveries for the full year were slightly down on 2018 (-1.8% to about 270,100 units).
Numerous political and economic uncertainties, model changes and the aftereffects of WLTP conversion were key features of Audi’s business in Europe in 2019. Across all models, deliveries on the home continent rose by 3.5 percent to approximately 769,650 units in the full year. Audi achieved significant growth in the final quarter primarily due to prior-year effects. The new Audi Q3 provided positive impetus, with sales rising by 55.5 percent to 93.900 units. With around 19,550 models delivered, the Audi e-tron was extremely well received by European customers, with more than a quarter of that number delivered in Norway. In Germany, the manufacturer completed the year with a 4.3 percent increase to 271,613 units.