Despite not having nearly the heritage (in terms of model line lineage) of its BMW or Mercedes-Benz limousine rivals, Audi’s latest third-generation A8 has proved a tremendous sales success - despite brand cynics' misgivings.
Audi can't build enough A8s
Although most luxury customers are trading down (BMW customers moving from 7- to 5 Series models, Merc proletarians trading in S- for E-Class), affected by an uncertain economic environment, Audi’s rapidly gaining A8 converts.
In fact, so strong is demand for Audi’s luxury barge that the brand is boosting production by 57%. By adding a third work shift, Audi’s aiming to produce 180 A8s per day at its Neckarsulm plant – up from the current 115.
With the S8 (always a popular derivative) still to be added, Audi’s A8 sales outlook remains extremely bullish.
Keen to dethrone BMW in terms of global sales volume, Audi’s human resources managers are due to absorb an additional 1 200 engineers and technicians into the organisation’s design and production systems before the end of 2011, all with the aim of driving growth of the four-ringed brand as aggressively as possible.
Audi’s product and production planning philosophy seems immune to any notion of a badly unsettled global economy...