Audi Is Pulling Up Alongside BMW In Australia's High-End Car Market

In the shadow of Volkswagen’s astronomical sales performance Down Under, two of Europe’s luxury car brands are jostling for position in the local car market. BMW has had the upper hand for years, but is Audi about to run over the German’s ambitions?

BMW Z4 image via Shutterstock

It’s not completely farfetched when you really think about it. Globally, Audis are driving out the door at record rates, as BMW records only modest gains in some territories while declining in others.

In North America, for example, Audi has just tied neck-and-neck with BMW as the best-selling luxury car brand. That means Audi has already overtaken Mercedes Benz in sales. Audi is challenging BMW in other regions, too. China and even the company’s home-turf of Europe are key markets that BMW is losing to its Bavarian rivals at Audi.

So can Audi continue its rampant world domination plan and take the Australian market from BMW? Looking at the numbers, it’s conceivable that it could happen within the next two years.

Audi plans to hit a local per annum sales target target of 15,000 cars sold in 2015, according to its aptly-named “Route 15” strategy. If Audi’s local growth continues how it has in the last decade, the brand is on track to achieve that goal one whole year early.

In 2012, Audi sold 14,000 new passenger vehicles in Australia. Compare that to five years ago and Audi has doubled its sales, with successive growth figures of approximately 15 per cent year-on-year.

Look at BMW, however, and you’ll see that the luxury German auto maker isn’t experiencing the same success. Sales of new BMW passenger vehicles actually shrunk last year, falling 1.5 per cent year-on-year. According to data from VFACTS and Deloitte, that represents BMW’s third consecutive slump in sales since 2009.

BMW sold 16,907 vehicles in 2012 (as of November). Compare that to 2006 figures and BMW is relatively stagnant, selling only 900 more vehicles per annum compared to that period.

BMW isn’t overly fussed by the performance of its rivals, however. Lenore Fletcher, BMW Australia’s general manager for corporate communications told Business Insider that the German auto maker wants sustainable growth rather than growth that is going to sacrifice profitability for the sake of a place on a scoreboard.

Whether it’s a profitable venture or not, the simple fact is that if Audi continues its successful sales growth in Australia, it’s feasible that the Bavarian car maker will outsell BMW by its 2015 milestone date.

Buckle up, BMW.

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