• Feb 13, 2011
2012 Audi A6 – Click above for a high-res image gallery

The Volkswagen Group wants to be number one in global sales, luxury sales and, hopefully, profits. In order to reach the auto sales zenith, however, Volkswagen may need to make room for more Audi production.

Bloomberg reports that Audi is struggling to meet demand for the A3 and A6, with buyers waiting three to four months to take delivery of those models. Audi sales boss Peter Schwarzenbauer tells Bloomberg that its factories are running at full throttle and that if sales continue to grow it will be "difficult to say how long it could take to reduce waiting times."

So why aren't car buyers leaving Audi for the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz? The line for Germany's other luxury makes can be just as long. All three automakers reported record sales in January, and that's with buyers waiting up to six months for hot new vehicles like the new BMW X3. While all three German luxury struggle to keep pace with demand, experts say Audi is in the toughest spot, with wait times up to two months longer than its competitors.

Will the Volkswagen Group address the problem in a timely manner? Since Audi reportedly contributed 47 percent of VW's overall profits for the past nine months, execs should be eager to take care of their cash cow.



[Source: Bloomberg]


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  • 34 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      In Canada, Audi does less than half of the volume that BMW and Mercedes-Benz do, and that is not all because of the lack of supply, believe me. I'm sure a lot has to do with the cheesy christmas tree lighting looking front end(s), the fact that half of their cars drive like crap, same looking front end(s), VWish back ends, VWish interiors, poor dealer networks, higher interest rates than the other German makes, shabby sales people that lie when trying to bash the competition, shabby service departments.... I'll stop there :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had a '98 A4 that was initially wonderful but so many medium-ticket items were failing that I cut my losses and dumped it after five years. My bro-in-law's '05 A8L is suffering the same fate with only 56k miles. He's pumped $3k into it in the past three months and is now fed up, threatening to sue the dealership after the last failure left him stranded in the middle of a busy intersection.

      There are countless stories of Audi's poor quality that rears its ugly head after the warranty is up. How they avoid massive recalls and stay out of the press for shoddy quality is impressive.
        • 3 Years Ago
        i've worked in service departments for vehicles ranging from audi to mercedes, honda to
        toyota, ford to chrysler over the last ten years. EVERY vehicle has it's problems. EVERY manufacturer has it's problems. it's all about how they deal with them. Honda. in particular stays out of the news because they used to extend warranties to 150K miles on a lot of their common failing parts. Toyota tried to sweep their issues under the rug, that's why the world is coming down on them so hard. These things have a huge effect on percieved quality
      • 3 Years Ago
      What's the best way to drum up a few extra sales? Talk about a shortage!

      Works for the drug makers. Why not cars?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Came on here to make the same comment.
        There are lots of Audi's sitting on the lots for sale that I have seen.
        Dealership nearest to me has a brand new black A8 for sale and there are 3 dealerships within a 100 mile radius of me that have many A4s and A5s for sale.
        • 3 Years Ago
        In the process of replacing one of our cars, we just considered the A4. When the sales guy gave us the story about low supply and no room on pricing, it did not exactly make us want to pay dearly for the privilege of driving an A4 without the options or color combination we wanted. He quoted $650/month on a 3 year lease for a $40k A4 that did not even include navigation. We headed to Infiniti and chose a $42k G37 for $420/month. I was in favor of the A4, mostly for the fuel economy, but $8,300 over the course of the lease buys a lot of gas!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Audis are nice cars but they can't beat BMW or Mercedes Benz in any way. I have buy Audis and compared to my BMW I will never buy an Audi again, maybe Mercedes Benz but no Audis because I like better the design and engines from BMW and MB.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "they can't beat BMW or Mercedes Benz in any way"

        You sure about that? You might want to start reading the car reviews over the last decade. Audi comes out on top or near top quite frequently (including BMW) for their classes, very rarely does Mercedes come in first, they are generally mid pack..
        • 3 Years Ago
        Audi outsells Mercedes (just) and BMW (by a lot) here in Switzerland. Winters require 4WD and well... neither of the two other German car giants offer enough 4WD cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      There are plenty of cars on Audi dealer lots in the U.S. This is an issue only if you want to special order a configuration not on dealer lots.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can see why more people are buying Audi's. I really like BMW (I currently drive an E46) but I've started looking for a replacement and so far the Audi S4 is the winner for me. I love the way the 335xi drives, but I need a spare tire in the trunk and refuse to get a car with run-flat tires and for whatever reason, BMW refuses to give US buyers the option to have normal tires. The S4 drove just as well, is priced about the same and comes with a spare and normal tires. Personally I like the styling much better than the 335 sedan too (rear has gotten better over the years, but is still awkward looking).
      • 3 Years Ago
      Problem with Audi service, walk into their dealerships and all you see is a bunch of UTI kids who got into the dealership via the Audi Technical Training program. Audi partners with UTI to pump out "technicians" who have no idea how to fix anything... These "kids" then work on expensive cars with no EXPERIENCE ! Diploma is not going to buy you 10+ years of car wrenching experience. I know when I started in the 90s I was a n00b but I was a car guy @ heart and quickly learned how to do the job right, and fast to make $$$ on it. I walked into a Audi dealership to get some parts for a ZF A/T trans I am rebuilding and these guys looked at me like I came from another planet... guy is rebuilding an A/T trans ? WTF ? BMW, VW and Mercedes all offer programs via UTI. I wouldn't trust these idiots with a wiper insert replacement let alone hard start/stalling/dying out when driving issue !
      • 3 Years Ago
      My mom's been waiting 3+ months for her Q5, and still doesn't know when it will arrive.

      Despite my dad's questionable feelings about an A4 'vert he had, she and my dad test drove all the competition and that is the vehicle she/they felt was the best to fit their needs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Such a bad manufacturer and awful dealer network it's really hard to understand how audi sells. Guess people like bland cars.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The US dealership network is appalling, this is a major reason why Audi have such low sales in this country. From warranty issues, to "unable to recreate that fault" as well as ignorant salespeople not having knowledge on the product they are selling. Us Audi enthusiasts use information from online forums to gather and share info on issues and generally we fix them ourselves either at home or at quality independent shops.
        Other markets are better served, but the US one is a concern.

        Audi quality has been raised from 06 onwards on cars, naturally some cars have issues which are normally quickly resolved as do other manufacturers.

        The solid driving feel, very strong and powerful engines, quality interiors, and Quattro drivetrain keep Audi as one of the most desirable brands. With halo cars such as the RS4 and R8 they are now turning into fun drivers as stock, (other platforms make terrific cars when modified).
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 3 to 6 months waiting time in the US for getting a German car is not new. It has already been the case for the past 20 years...

      I noticed that American cars dealers have their lot full of cars ready for delivery, knowing that US customers like to make a deal on the spot and rarelly come back.

      Why a customer will order a 2011 model to be deliverd in 2012?

      There are different business models, but certainly because of the Euro currency, dealers have low margin and do not want to pay for the advance cost of the inventory who need to be elastic.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I pity the rich -- having the wait for their Audis. Interesting that there is such demand for relatively bland cars with gaping grills and gimmicky headlights.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ usa1 - So gimmicky that every manufacturer is imitating their headlight design?
        + including American manufacturers also?
        • 3 Years Ago
        admit it, he's right. Audis of today, and to extent the entire VW group, have become bland as hell in the last 5 or 6 years.
      • 3 Years Ago
      BMW=ugly
      MB=boring
      that's why people are willing to wait for Audis
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well said Josh! lol
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