Click above for a hi-res gallery of our first drive in the new Audi A4
Luxury sports sedans are made all over the world, but nobody does 'em quite like the Germans. The BMW 3 Series has stood as the champion of the segment for decades, but not anymore. According to government records of new vehicle registration, the Audi A4 was the best-selling premium car, beating out the 3-Series, along with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
By the numbers, 98,714 A4's were sold in Germany over the course of 2008, making it the second most popular new car in Germany behind the Volkswagen Golf. But lest you think Germans are enamored only with Audi's new A4, which was introduced last year, the A6 and TT also topped their segments, contributing to the strongest growth (or weakest decline) in the German market and across Western Europe. The innovators in all-wheel traction and aluminum construction saw their entire market share rise last year by 0.8% to a total of 8.1% of the German new car market, details of which you can read in the press release after the jump.
[Source: Audi via AutoGuide.com] PRESS RELEASE
AUDI AG: A4 is Germany's most successful premium model in 2008
* After VW Golf, Audi A4 most frequently bought car in Germany
* Audi A6 and Audi TT most successful models in their classes
* Audi is the premium brand in Germany and Western Europe experiencing the strongest growth
The latest vehicle registration numbers verify that the Audi A4 is Germany's most successful premium automobile. No other model in the premium segment surpassed the 98,714 A4 models registered last year. The Audi A6 also topped its segment with 45,304 registrations. The second generation of the Audi TT design icon was registered 10,630 times in Germany – making it the most successful sports car in Germany in 2008.
AUDI AG was able to expand its market share on the domestic German market to 8.1 percent – an increase of 0.8 percent. In Western Europe, Audi boosted its market share by 0.4 points to 4.8 percent: No other premium brand succeeded in strengthening its market position this significantly.
"Audi is presently experiencing stronger growth than any other premium brand in the region – and thanks to new models we will maintain this dynamism," says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. "In a difficult market environment, we want to further expand our market share in Germany and Western Europe."
The Audi A4 is presently undergoing further upgrading: The top versions of the model line – the S4 Sedan and Avant – are now arriving in Europe's showrooms. The new A4 Avant was just launched in April 2008. In addition to the fleet award from Auto-Flotte magazine, Audi's best-selling model has already won countless accolades and has beaten the competition in all relevant comparison tests.
The product improvement of the A6 was launched in September 2008. Also the winner of the fleet award in its class, today the A6 is Germany's most successful business sedan.
With the Audi TTS, the top version of the TT line, Audi introduced the first S model in this class. The Audi TT TDI debuted as the first production sports car powered by a diesel engine.
AUDI AG sold a total of 1,003,000 cars in 2008 and thus achieved its thirteenth consecutive record year. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Györ (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). Aurangabad in India saw the start of local production of the Audi A6 at the end of 2007 and of the Audi A4 in early October 2008. The company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG's wholly owned subsidiaries include Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. in Sant'Agata Bolognese (Italy) and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi currently employs around 57,000 people worldwide, including 45,000 in Germany. The brand with the four rings invests more than €2 billion each year in order to sustain the company's technological lead embodied in its "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan. Audi plans to significantly increase the number of models in its portfolio by 2015 to 40. The Audi brand celebrates its 100th birthday in 2009. The company was founded by August Horch in Zwickau on July 16, 1909; he named it Audi after the Latin translation of his surname ("hark!").
AUDI AG will present the complete results for the 2008 business year at its Annual Press Conference on March 10, 2009 in Ingolstadt.