Audi could hit two million car sales goal ahead of 2020

Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:55am EST
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By Andreas Cremer and Irene Preisinger

INGOLSTADT, Germany (Reuters) - German luxury carmaker Audi could reach its goal of 2 million sales a year before its 2020 target, helped by revamped models and new sport-utility vehicles, its chief executive told Reuters.

Rupert Stadler said demand in Europe, where Audi sold 44 percent of its cars last year, was stable, while he was upbeat about prospects for China, where some rivals have reported a drop-off in demand as economic growth slows.

Audi is the profit engine of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote), Europe's biggest carmaker, and its sales goal is a key part of the parent company's drive to overtake Japan's Toyota (7203.T: Quote) to become global industry leader.

Audi's target was "coming into view" ahead of 2020, Stadler said in an interview at the automaker's base in Ingolstadt, Germany. "We have good potential."

German rival BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote) retained the global luxury car sales crown for a tenth straight year in 2014, but Audi and Daimler's (DAIGn.DE: Quote) Mercedes-Benz have reduced its lead and are striving to unseat BMW by the end of the decade.

Audi sold 11 percent more vehicles last year, a record 1.74 million, and has delivered double-digit percentage increases in four of the past five years.

Overhauls of its top-selling A4 saloon, the flagship Q7 SUV and the R8 sports car would fuel demand this year, Stadler said.

To beef up its presence in the fast-growing SUV market, Audi will build a new Q1 from 2016 and plans to launch a range-topping Q8 model before 2020.   Continued...

The Audi four rings logo is seen at the press day for the Washington Auto Show in Washington January 22, 2015.     REUTERS/Gary Cameron