Crossovers will deliver another record year for Audi, Keogh says

Audi's Keogh: "We want to have another record year." Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

Greater availability of hot-selling crossovers will propel Audi to another record year of U.S. sales in 2015, Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh says.

The biggest gains will come from a full year of availability of the compact Q3 crossover, which launched last fall, and a larger allocation of Q5 crossovers for the U.S., Keogh says. “A few thousand” more Q5s will be allocated to Audi’s U.S. dealer network than were in 2014, he said.

The crossovers will be joined by the freshened A6 and A7 sedans by the end of the first quarter, and the redesigned TT coupe and new A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid later this year. Keogh says that product rollout, plus expected sales gains at several dealerships building larger facilities, gives him confidence that Audi’s sixth-straight year of record sales is at hand.

“Our first priority is that clearly, we want to have another record year,” Keogh said.

Yet the brand’s rapid growth rate may ease from the 15 percent gain it posted last year as high volume nameplates such as the A4, Q5 and Q7 are nearing the end of their life cycles. Keogh said he expects sales growth to be within the 10 to 15 percent range that it has been for the last few years.

Bigger sales gains could come starting in 2016 and beyond after redesigned vehicles such as the A4, A5 and a made-in-Mexico Q5 hit showrooms.

“Audi is going to have nice steady growth [in 2015], and it’s going to ramp up pretty significantly from there,” said Mike Sullivan, owner of Audi Pacific in Torrance, Calif., one of eight Los Angeles-area dealerships in his LAcarGUY network. “They’re pretty bullish on the next couple of years of product and growth.”

You can reach Ryan Beene at autonews@crain.com

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