All of Audi's new models may hurt deliveries.
Typically when an automaker announces its sales goals for the upcoming year, they use terms like "record deliveries" and "sales crown." It isn't often we hear automakers use words like "strain" or "transition," but those are the words Audi used to describe 2018. Automotive News Europe reports Audi is expecting to have a rough sales year in 2018. Audi has launched over 20 redesigned and new models, which could hurt deliveries. The brand is hurting from declining sales of high-end models and costs from the diesel emissions scandal.
The luxury automaker is on the verge of launching a product onslaught, which will include a new model every three weeks this year. We've already seen the redesigned A6 sedan, and new Q8 and E-Tron SUVs are on the way. New models may sound like good news for sales, but not if Audi can't produce them fast enough. The company expects production bottlenecks due to new vehicle tests for harmonized world standards. "This means an enormous feat of strength for us," CEO Rupert Stadler said. "2018 will be a year of transition." Audi likely won't be in the sales crown competition with BMW and Mercedes in 2018.
Instead, Audi just wants to match last year's record deliveries of 1.88 million units. It may be a rough year for Audi, but the brand may be in a good position in the future. Like the rest of the Volkswagen Group, Audi plans to launch 20 electrified models by 2025, more than half of which will be fully electric. 2018 may be a bad year for Audi, but it should just be a blip on the radar.