Covid lockdowns in China, chip shortages and logistical issues caused sales stagnation for Audi in 2022 as it lags behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Audi sales volumes in 2022 were the lowest of Germany’s big three premium brands as it grappled with long-standing parts shortages and significant logistical challenges.
The company sold 1,614,231 cars, down 3.9 per cent (66,281) on 2021. This is significantly short of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, which recorded 2,043,900 and 2,100,692 deliveries respectively. These figures represent similar stagnation to Audi, though, with Mercedes’ deliveries down 1 per cent year on year and BMW’s declining by 5.1 per cent.
Electric cars accounted for 118,196 of Audi’s sales total, a 44.3 per cent improvement on 2021 levels. Although this is slightly greater than Mercedes’ 117,800 EV sales, it lags far behind BMW’s 215,755 EV sales.
So too did Audi fail to match each rival’s year-on-year growth in EV sales of 124 per cent (Mercedes) and 107.7 per cent (BMW). Audi currently sells three pure-electric model lines – the Q4 E-tron, Q8 E-tron and E-tron GT – compared with six each for BMW and Mercedes.
That Audi’s EV sales with its current line-up did increase as sharply as its rivals’ bodes poorly for 2022. Whereas BMW and Mercedes plan to maintain their momentum in 2023 by introducing all-new EVs in key segments, the former with the i5 sedan and the latter with SUV variants of the EQE and EQS, Audi isn’t. The marque’s only new EV coming to dealerships in 2023 is the facelifted E-tron SUV, now called the Q8 E-tron.
Nonetheless, high demand for the Q4 E-tron (above), E-tron GT and E-tron SUV affirms Audi’s transition to an electric line-up, the company claimed. It plans to launch electric models only from 2026.
The Audi Sport performance sub-brand set a new record with 45,515 sales in 2022, a 15.6 per cent improvement year on year.
The China and Hong Kong region was Audi’s highest-volume market during 2022, accounting for 642,548 deliveries – an 8.4 per cent reduction year on year. The company attributed this to the semiconductor supply shortage, as well as production limitations and showroom closures caused by the repeated Covid lockdowns there.
Europe followed, where sales grew by 1.2 per cent year on year to 624,498, thanks to marginal improvements in Spain and Italy (1.4 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively) and significant growth (18.7 per cent) in Germany.
Deliveries in the US totalled 186,875, a 4.7 per cent decline, due to the chip shortage and logistical issues. Meanwhile, Mexico and Brazil accounted for 9905 and 5587 respectively.
Hildegard Wortmann, Audi board member for sales and marketing, said: “Even though we’re still facing global economic challenges, we’re looking toward the future with confidence. That’s because we’re going into 2023, during which we will accelerate the transformation together, with an attractive portfolio, a large number of orders and a highly motivated team.”