German automaker Audi has reported a sales increase of 20 per cent across the GCC and Levant to 5,130 vehicles delivered to customers in the first six months of 2013, an all-time Middle East record.
Audi’s 2013 focus, however, is on capacity and quality in its sales and after sales network infrastructure, said Trevor Hill, managing director of Audi Middle East.
“If the product and service is right, sales follow. Excellent service in sales and after sales is the backbone of our business,” he added.
The strongest single market for Audi is the UAE with 2,210 vehicles sold in the first half, representing a growth of 27.2 per cent. Al Nabooda Automobiles, Audi’s official dealer for Dubai and the Northern Emirates, translated their investment in the world’s largest Audi terminal into the highest sales volume by a single dealer across the region with 1,339 (2012: 993) units and 34.8 per cent growth.
The second biggest market is Saudi Arabia, which remains stable with 920 units sold (2012: 915). Kuwait ranks third with sales of 616 (2012: 571) vehicles in the first half and an increase of 7.9 per cent over the same period in 2012.
All Middle Eastern markets registered growth, except for Syria, where Audi’s business operations are on hold, and Qatar, which saw a change of dealership at the end of 2012. The strongest growing markets are Lebanon with 97.8 per cent, Dubai and the Northern Emirates with 34.8 per cent, Oman with 29.3 per cent and Bahrain with 27.3 per cent compared to first half of 2012.
With over 1,000 units sold, Audi’s 7-seater SUV, the Q7, is Audi’s bestselling model in the region. It generated a 53.2 per cent increase in sales. The new model is expected in mid-2015.
It is followed by Audi A8 L sedan and the Audi Q5 mid-class SUV with 867 and 815 units sold in the first half respectively. Worth mentioning is the Audi Q3 compact SUV, which registered over 300 per cent growth to 298 units sold.
Audi approved pre-owned car sales across the Middle East markets increased by 40.8 per cent in the first half of 2013 to 1,096 units (2012: 778). As the demand for high quality pre-owned vehicles outstrips the supply, residual values are expected to increase further over the coming months and years.
New Audi approved showrooms have opened in Dubai and Riyadh earlier in the year. Qatar, Lebanon and Jordan will start Audi approved pre-owned car sales in the second half.
Audi seeks to further increase sales and service capacities across the region, said Hill.
The ground breaking for Ali & Sons Automotive’s new Audi terminal in Rawdhat, Abu Dhabi took place in May. Its completion is planned for early 2015.
Al Nabooda Automobiles continues its massive expansion in Dubai and the Northern Emirates of the UAE with the construction of a new Audi service center in Al Quoz, Dubai starting later this year. The Audi terminal Sharjah and a new showroom in Fujairah are planned to open later this year, both featuring sales and service facilities.
Overall customer satisfaction in Audi after sales service increased by 16.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2012. Audi had recently introduced a new dedicated on-site coaching program, increased quality control and technical coaching. The third module of Audi’s global “Customer Delight” training is currently being rolled out to all customer-facing Audi personnel across the region, Hill explained.
Following the arrival of the Audi S models, RS 4 Avant and R8 V8 earlier this year, the second half will see the launch of the new R8 V10 plus. Further new model introductions are expected to be revealed at the Dubai Motor Show in November, said Hill.