INGOLSTADT, Germany -- Audi is counting on its growing Q line of SUVs to help it drive past BMW brand to No. 1 in global luxury car sales by 2020.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said Tuesday that the automaker's Q range would account for 33 percent to 40 percent of its planned 2 million global sales in 2020, up from a quarter now.
Led by the Audi Q3, European demand for premium medium SUVs rose 24 percent to 407,512 units last year in an overall market that was down 8 percent (see table, bottom).
In addition, the popularity of premium SUVs in growing markets such as China, the United States and Russia is fueling a wave of new models as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vie for the premium-sales lead.
Audi, the world's second-largest luxury-car brand, and No. 3 Mercedes are both seeking to topple BMW as the market leader by the end of the decade.