Audi will take its UK sales for 2013 beyond the 100,000 mark within the next 24 hours and is on course for a record total of 140,000 by the end of the year.
But the director of Audi in the UK, Martin Sander, will not be around to see it. At the end of this month he is going back to Audi headquarters in Ingolstadt to take charge of the US market.
When Sander arrived in the UK just two years ago he thought 130,000 cars a year would be a realistic ceiling for Audi. Now he is revising that forecast to 150,000.
“We have more new models coming and I expect the total market to be stronger, so I think 150,000 is the next landmark,” he said. “Volume growth is not the main driver – we have to make sure the dealers are looking after the customers. But our volume growth is being driven by demand across the entire range.”
On his time in the UK, Sander says: “The greatest success I will remember is that we have opened our eyes and the eyes of our retailers to the huge opportunities we had.
“We spent many years dreaming of selling 100,000 cars a year. Once we achieved that we realised there was much more we could achieve without pushing through more inventive business opportunities.
“We just have to stay true to the Vorsprung Durch Technik philosophy. Over the last 100 years Audi has been constantly challenging the status quo through ground-breaking new products like the quattro, TT and R8.
“Next year you will see a further stage in that with the arrival of the e-tron in the UK. It is a plug-in hybrid, and the way we are developing it is the solution for customers who want everyday usability from an electric car.
“It is for the customer who needs a long range without having to own another car. The drivetrain is what sets us apart by maintaining the freedom of the individual to travel. You can go to Scotland or Cornwall in it and drive in a sporty way with no compromises in safety or comfort, but with ground-breaking fuel economy.”
10 September 2013