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For the first time ever, Audi has managed to outsell Mercedes-Benz in global sales for the first quarter of 2010. Some of the European press are treating it like the fourth horseman of the apocalypse, but before we break out our Mayan calendars and go all 2012 on you, here are the hard numbers: Audi sold 264,100 vehicles worldwide between January and March while Mercedes sold 248,500 units over the same time period. For what it's worth, BMW has yet to release its final first-quarter sales figures.

Audi has repeatedly signaled its desire and intent to become the world's leading luxury car brand by 2015, which would mean passing both of its German rivals, the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz and BMW, along with Japanese automaker Lexus. Plus, Audi offers a pretty compelling lineup of vehicles with which to do battle with those formidable competitors.

According to Autocar, the biggest single contributor to Audi's passing of Mercedes-Benz is the Chinese market, where Audi sells twice as many vehicles per year as Mercedes-Benz. In fact, one out of every five Audis built is sold in China. Considering how rapidly the Chinese market is expanding, Audi is certainly finding itself in an enviable position. Time will tell if it's able to maintain that growth in the face of constant pressure from its German and Japanese rivals.

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 47 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      By looking at Mercedes current lineup, I am not that shocked.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I couldn't agree more zamafir. Mercedes' lower end still needs a lot of work. On the upper end Mercedes rules. You may or may not like their product emphasis (luxury over performance, I mean), but you can't deny that the S, CL, and SL are fantastic cars. Heck, I'd even put the new E-Class up with that category because it has such an uncompromising dedication to quality, even if the design is uninspired.

        Audi, on the other hand, is more consistent throughout.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, I am a little shocked. MB's current lineup is excellent across the board for the first time in probably fifteen years. They do charge a pretty hefty premium for that hood ornament, though. With changes in demographics, though, I can see more and more people wanting to own the "youthful" Audi, rather than tote around the baggage that comes from the three-ponited star. Congratulations are certainly in order.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @skablaw - excellent? in mercedes terms? sure. In the german luxury marketplace terms? not so much. Their interiors continue to falter (though that hyundai snag should fix things) and a lot of their cars are placed in odd areas between competitors, thus we're seeing cars like the forthcoming c class cab to deal with that issue. But in general there's still a lot of work mercedes can do to continue to refine their products on the lower end of their spectrum.
      • 4 Years Ago
      stupid mainland chinese buying audis
      • 4 Years Ago
      mercs drive better (at least the C/E class), don't have Audi's dumb steering and are more reliable (in latter years), but Audi's are selling based on their (very) good looks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The main problem for the Audi lineup is that the new A8 just seems like a big version of the A4. It does not really stand out as a 7-Series or S-Class. Most people in this luxury class want to show that they "arrived". The A8 is too stealthy for that. They need something bolder that makes you stop and look at the design as they achieved with the R8.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Man I love Audi. When Merc builds an R8 competitor something that interests me as much as the S5, then we'll talk...
      • 4 Years Ago
      well done Audi!
        • 4 Years Ago
        and well & truly deserved.

        Audi never deserved the UA crap that they got, and good on them for sticking true to form.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Audi has been putting out some really nice vehicles the last few years and they seem to be much more focused on their products than the competition.
      • 4 Years Ago
      this is nice. congratz Audi.

      however I think I would loose hours of sleep at night/my mind if I had to go from driving a Merc to an Audi... theyre nice cars and all, thats just my opinion.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I knew there was reason Daimler tied the knot with Renault-Nissan. They are losing market share and this merger was just temporary means to recoup their losses.
      • 4 Years Ago
      nice. audis come a effing long way from the 80's.
        • 4 Years Ago
        AUDI IS CHEAPER

        The same reason why Wii outsold PS3 and XBOX 360 so long.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OK Audi sold a few more...........but Mercedes cost more. Bottom line, Mercedes made more money.
        • 4 Years Ago
        First of all, let me say that I'm glad Autoblogs comment system doesn't make low ranked comments transparent. I don't give a damn about your stupid star ratings.

        Second, How bout you compare Audi and Mercedes Reliability...

        Guess what...AUDI SUCKS.

        You can use True Delta... you can use Edmunds...you can use Forbes. Same story wherever you go.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Better value. Id take an audi over a benz even if they were the same price.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow, nicholai / Nick - go back to school, you guys are too stupid to function.

        Did an Audi run over your dog? Why the bitterness?

        Mercedes models in the mid 2000's weren't exactly known for their reliability

        • 4 Years Ago
        nicholi- Go check TrueDelta, my Audi is part of their numbers. Look at Mercs before 2007 and you'll see a bad history of reliability. Sorry, but the older the Merc, the worse the reliability. Audi, in the same way, has improved their reliability over the past 6 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ nicholi

        I dont know if its the same in the US but here in Germany Mercedes is ranked high in reliability because if a Benz has a breakdown, the car is taken by a Mercedes breakdown service and not the general one. So it doesnt show up in the statistics.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @nicholi - right and why audi's had no issues outselling mercedes for so long. oh. wait. no. rather it would appear their 40 model offensive (almost there guys) is actually paying off, crazily enough.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well deserved, I'd keep my A4 over a 3 Series, Benz or Lexus any day.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just went from an Audi A4 to an M-B C300 Sport. The Benz is SO much more refined...

      I'm sorry, but while Audi has some great designs - and they've done a truly masterful marketing job - their VW roots just can't be hidden. The Benz is ONLY a Benz... it doesn't exist as something else too. The feeling of the Benz is of a superbly engineered vehicle, while the Audi just feels like a premium version of an average sedan.

      The Turbo-4 Audi uses does a nice job, but it buzzes. The V-6 in the Benz goes about its business with a sense of sophistication and refinement that the Audi doesn't come close to.

      And all the accolades about the supposedly great Audi interiors.. I don't get it. Yes, they do use high quality materials, but the dash and console are way overladen with too many buttons, switches and lines of plastic chrome. And their instrument displays don't even come close to the ones in an M-B.

      True, the interior of the C300 falls a bit short in that it doesn't quite convey class or luxury. But it is clean, functional and modern.

      I can't wait for the C-Class Coupe coming next year. It may be my next Benz.
        • 4 Years Ago
        First off, it's interesting that a poster named "beemerdude" is choosing between driving a C Class or an A4. I would have expected a 3 Series =p

        Anyways, I have to completely agree with beemerdude. Mercedes has been making great cars far before Audi and it shows. They have perfected a luxury driving experience and their service is excellent.

        I am a huge fan of Audi, however I wouldn't quite say it is up to par with Mercedes and BMW quite yet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Zamifar, could u be anymore of an Audi fanboy? he was just giving his opinion... Jesus.
        • 4 Years Ago
        you went from a 2010 a4 to the C class and found the C class more refined? And why aren't you comparing the V6 equipped A4 to the C Class if you're decrying the 2.0T, it's not as though audi doesn't have a V6 in the A4. I vastly prefer the 3.2L in my R32 to the 2.0T in my GTI but that doesn't means vw's not capable of putting a decent v6 in the car, just as Audi offers a V6 in the A4.
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