Audi tells dealers "Either get in or get out"

Audi's US sales have done quite well lately, with a 7% rise in August, and 6% in July. But successful companies know complacency does not foster greater success. So Audi has had a little talk with some of its less-than-stellar Stateside dealers.

Basically, the German automaker has told underperformers they either need to invest in their franchises to improve sales and customer satisfaction, or sell them back. According to Automotive News, Audi has already identified six specific dealers that fall into this unfavorable category, and is even in final buyback talks with two of them.

An Audi spokesperson told Automotive News that most of the weak businesses also sell brands other than Audi. That's why the company is urging dealers to build stand-alone Audi dealerships, with a goal of 150 independent Audi sales locations by 2012. The push for more stores includes a new flagship store in New York with another high-volume location in Los Angeles.

An incentive program encourages independent Audi dealers by paying them a 16% bonus for every vehicle sold, while multi-brand dealers get as little as 7%.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd.]

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