For most of its 24 months in the U.S., the Audi Q3 has been an odd duck.
Despite being a new entry from a hot brand in the growing crop of baby luxury crossovers, the Q3 notched just 13,229 sales last year, a little more than half of the volume enjoyed by the rival Mercedes-Benz GLA.
But this year, the Q3 is gaining momentum, and Audi is closing that gap. It posted 12,525 Q3 sales through August, a 46 percent gain from 2015 and within 3,000 units of the GLA. Q3 volume peaked in August at a record 2,238 sales, shattering its previous record of around 1,800 set in July and more than doubling the GLA's August tally.
Thiemo Rusch, general manager of sales operations for Audi of America, says the Q3's recent stride stems from a boost in production for the U.S. and the ongoing shift in luxury vehicle demand toward SUVs and crossovers.
Rusch said U.S. supplies of the Q3 were "very limited" early on as the brand focused on its sedan business. Early this year, Audi of America secured a larger share of Q3 output from the Seat plant in Martorell, Spain, and Rusch said supplies have been consistently higher since April.
"We got the right production to support true demand, and the customers are shifting heavily into SUVs," Rusch said.