Audi dealers in Germany told to better exploit market opportunities

Ingolstadt, Germany. Audi sales director in Germany Stefan Mueller wants the company to sell 26 percent more cars in its home market within the next six years.

The former managing director at Volvo Germany expects annual sales of 300,000 cars from his dealers in the long-term.

His target is ambitious. During the past two years Audi AG's sales in Germany have dropped. According to statistics from the German department of motor vehicles (KBA) only 238,742 new Audis were registered in 2003 -- 1.4 percent less than in 2002.

Mueller believes that the brand is on the right track, specifically since the launch of the new A6 two weeks ago.

Mueller expects Audi to sell 35,000 units of the A6 in Germany this year. According to the KBA, Audi sold 44,831 Audi A6s in 2003. During the first quarter of 2004, 9,313 A6s were sold.

"This car is a long-runner that will achieve good results during all of its life cycle, " says Mueller.

He also plans to target new buyer groups with the A3 sportback, which goes on sale in September and an SUV based on the Pikes Peak concept car that is expected to go into production in 2006.

Mueller also aim to increase the brand's sales potential by exploiting more market opportunities.

"Many of our dealers have to be stronger and more active, " he says.

Mueller said dealers need to exploit the market in a much more professional way since the German auto market likely will not grow significantly within the next five to six years.

Mueller suggested that his dealers give certain areas of responsibility to their sales personnel and encourage them to approach potential customers on a regular basis.

Mueller thinks that the dealers who are not prepared to improve their professionalism will get into trouble "sooner or later. "

Mueller says there are some German Audi dealers that do not exploit market opportunities to their full potential.

He is asking dealers to arrange market research on their individual showrooms to find out how the company's is perceived, how well it is known and its positioning in its territory.

All this should then enable the dealers to develop new marketing strategies, says Mueller.

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