Audi will extend its dealer network

Focus on Germany and Middle East

Ingolstadt, Germany. Audi wants to extend its dealer network in Germany and the Middle East, says sales director Ralph Weyler.

Audi has 743 dealers and 442 garages in Germany. Weyler wants 25 more dealers to join the network during 2005.

Worldwide, Audi has 2,886 dealers, each selling an average of 270 cars a year -- far fewer than the 1996 peak, when Audi had 5,689 dealers, selling an average of 90 cars each per year.

"An Audi partner can amortize his investment better because of the concentration of volume," said Weyler.

Audi will invest 50 million euros by 2009 in developing market share in the Middle East, where it sold only 2,500 cars in 2004. The Ingolstadt-based firm will open its own sales outlet in Dubai by June 2006.

In 2004, the Volkswagen subsidiary recorded a record profit of 871 million euros after tax, an increase of 7.4 percent. The automaker recorded sales of 24.5 billion euros, a 4.7 percent increase from 2003.

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