UK: premium automakers threaten mass-market brands image

Great Britain’s new car sales have been a boom in recent months, far outpacing the overall modest economy rebound across the European region. And it looks like the usual premium trio – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – is reaping the benefits.

Ford and GM’s United Kingdom brand Vauxhall are among the mass-market automakers that appear to be on the losing side. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz gain sales and market share from their rivals, buoyed by an expanding line-up and ever-more fuel efficient cars.

“The greater feeling of wealth means that car buyers are increasingly looking to the more expensive badges,” says Jonathon Poskitt, LMC Automotive’s head of European sales forecasting.

“Demand for Audi in the UK has never been greater,” adds Audi’s UK boss, Andre Konsbruck.

British car sales were up 11% to 1.29 million units in the first six months of the year, with June the 28th consecutive month of rising deliveries. Just like in Europe and globally, the German premium brands are on an offensive towards the bottom line, expanding their lower-cost segments to snatch buyers from volume automakers. Audi just introduced in the UK the latest sedan version of its A3 compact, BMW is ready to start sales of its front wheel drive 2-series Active Tourer compact MPV and Mercedes-Benz is enticing customers with its subcompact GLA crossover.

Via Automotive News Europe