CEO says Audi still got the edge on Mercedes image

According to Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler, Volkswagen AG’s premium brand Audi is set to keep for 2014 its second place behind BMW, although Mercedes-Benz has been pushing hard lately.

Audi has been ever since passing by Mercedes-Benz to gain the second place among the world’s largest premium brands in an arms race to catch up with BMW, while now third placed Mercedes is undergoing a revolution that it hopes it can spur its rise to prominence once more.

Audi is also facing a year with no important new launch – we can’t count the new generation TT coupe among the high-volume products of the brand, while both Mercedes and BMW still have important models to undergo a generational change.

“We are in the midst of the greatest internationalization and investment push in our history. Last year we opened two new plants, one in Foshan, China, and another in Gyor, Hungary. In 2016, another new plant follows in Mexico while we are launching production in Brazil [at a VW plant]. We are also investing 22 billion euros in the development and production of new models by 2018. Today we are sowing and we will reap the harvest tomorrow,” says Stadler.

The company’s CEO is also confident that Mercedes-Benz has no change of putting Audi in third place this year, as the brand’s sales continue to rise to make up the difference. With more and more shifts at the company’s German factories and a firm first place in China, the world’s largest auto market, Stadler sees Audi possibly even overtaking BMW in 2020.

Via Automotive News Europe