Audi Could Surpass BMW in Less Than Eight Years image

The gap between Audi and BMW is closing up, which might bring an end to BMW’s seven-year reign in premium auto sales.

In August the gap between BMW and Audi in the luxury car segment was reduced to only 2,110 units, which could mean that Audi might have a chance to end BMW’s seven-year reign in premium auto sales. From January to August Audi saw its sales increase 13% to 961,000 units, while BMW’s sales were up only 7.8% to 963,110 units. From last year the gap between the two automakers has considerably shrunk, taking into consideration that in August 2011 BMW had a lead of 40,513 units.

One of the main reasons for Audi’s revival might be the fact that since 2002 Volkswagen has invested more than $25.6 billion (20 billion euro) in its premium brand, Audi, which currently has 12 model lines compared to only 6 in 2003. In 2011 Audi managed to surpass Mercedes-Benz and plans to do so with BMW by 2020.

Daniel Schwarz, a Frankfurt-based Commerzbank analyst expects Audi to overtake BMW sooner than 2020 unless “there are surprising shifts in market share which I don’t expect, especially in China.”

“They are the strongest growing luxury brand, and they just launched the A3, which is close to being their best-selling car in a peak year.”