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Luxury Leg Race: Audi Set To Pass Mercedes For First Time

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On: Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 3:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

Luxury Leg Race: Audi Set To Pass Mercedes For First Time

Growing up, I recall the major European luxury race always appeared to be between BMW and Mercedes. You'd see plenty of these cars around and each brand had clearly won its fair share of loyal customers in the US.

Audi, on the other hand, always seemed like a distant brand. To be honest, I thought it was a Swedish brand for the longest time because it was about as obscure as Saab. The only reason I knew it was a luxury car is because the only person that I knew that drove one was my friend's father who happened to be a doctor. Other than that, it just seemed like a somewhat boring European car.

Granted that's just one person's impression, but Audi has long been the third German luxury automaker, lagging behind BMW and Mercedes in terms of global sales. But not for long.

Auto News predicts that Audi will surpass Mercedes in 2011 global sales, working its way into the number two spot behind BMW. Audi's 18 percent increase in year-over-year sales over last year has it punching the cash register 1,193,110 times, a 56,500-car lead over Mercedes.

The sales shake-up comes at a time when all three German luxury carmakers are on a push to become number one. BMW is already number 1 and would undoubtedly like to hold that position. According to AN, Mercedes wants to move into the number 1 spot by 2020 and Audi would like to have that move complete by 2015.

Moving past head-to-head numbers, all three luxury automakers have had a successful year. Mercedes sales through November are up by 7 percent and BMW's are up by 13 percent. In fact, BMW is on track to break its sales record of 1,276,793 sales set back in 2007. BMW has sold 1,252,205 through the first 11 months of the year.

My perception of Audi has definitely changed a lot in recent years. While I probably wouldn't buy a European luxury car (more of a sports car and SUV guy), I'd definitely consider Audi along with BMW and Mercedes. I think their cars look among the most distinctive and offer a nice array of features.



Stephy21 | 9:40AM (Mon, Dec 19, 2011)

I hadn't heard of Audi until last year when my friend bought one and i thought it was like a off brand of some sort. But the cars are very nice but they just don't compare to Mercedes or BMW.

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