When is success a bad thing? If you're Audi, it's when you can't get adequate quantities of new vehicles to U.S. dealerships. Wards Automotive talked supply and demand with Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen, and it's apparently very difficult to keep Audi dealers stocked. The Audi prez says the luxury brand is down to a 27-day supply of vehicles, adding, "We simply can't get our inventory up to a 60-day supply."
But while a short supply of new vehicles typically signals strong demand and minimizes incentives, Audi is faced with a custom order rate that is up to 31 percent. When you are maxed out at factories in Europe and there is that whole matter of shipping the vehicle across an ocean, an order can take months. And if customers face a long wait for what can sometimes be an emotion-driven buying decision, not everybody can be so patient, and Audi risks losing sales as a result. The waiting game hasn't stopped Audi from turning up the heat in California, though, as the Four-Ringed Automaker's sales have jumped from 3.5 percent to 10 percent market share.
Beyond supply issues, the German automaker is also struggling to push higher-end products, as de Nysschen says the volume products are the A4 and Q5. Only 15 percent of overall sales come from the A6, a number Audi hopes to stretch to 55 percent. The automaker is hoping the A7 helps solve that problem as well, along with a high mix of diesel-powered Q7 SUVs.