Audi keeps distance from Mercedes-Benz image

Volkswagen AG’s premium unit managed to again outsell third-placed Mercedes-Benz, which vowed to reclaim the top position from BMW in the coming years.

Audi’s sales in July rose 9.7% thanks to strong demand in the US and China, which managed to balance the losses from other nations, such as Russia. The 144,000 cars delivered by the German automaker compare to Mercedes-Benz’s 130,003 units. The latter fell behind Audi in 2011.

The German trio is deeply entrenched in the supremacy battle this year, as Audi managed to come closer to BMW in the first six months of the year, with a gap of just 17,000 autos, down from 24,000 for the same period in 2013. The seven-months difference between Audi and Mercedes-Benz has been reduced as well – from last year’s 100,561 cars to 99,827 units. The German rival BMW, the leader of the worldwide premium automotive segment, is expected to publish its sales results for July later on today.

Both automakers had their sales buoyed by increased demand for their lower-margin compact cars range – the A3 line-up at Audi and the extensive A Class, B Class, CLA and GLA portfolio at Mercedes-Benz.

Russia has been a tough market for Audi lately, with deliveries plummeting 12% in July to just 2,600 cars, after declines of 3.3% and 4.2% in June and May, respectively. The automaker began local manufacturing of the A6, A7 and A8 sedans, together with the Q5 and Q7 SUVs in 2013.

Via Reuters