Audi A6 in the Passing Lane

Posted by: Gail Edmondson on February 13, 2006

Audi just earned some big boasting rights in Germany, the toughest luxury car market in the world. Last year the Audi A6 sedan (which starts at $40,820) outsold key rivals, the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes E Class for the first time ever. It has also nearly eclipsed the competition Europewide: Audi sold 127,500 A6’s last year, just a tad less than the 128,900 for BMW’s 5 Series, but way ahead of the 121,500 for Mercedes E-Class.

To be fair, one can excuse the flagging sales of the Mercedes E Class, which is a much older model. But the BMW 5 Series is the same vintage as the new A6. Audi’s ability to overtake BMW in Germany and to be right on BMW’s bumper Europewide is big news. Germans are the most demanding luxury car customers in the world. They are skilled drivers who love testing a car’s limits at 140 miles an hour. German car buyers are well-versed in the technology and innovations new models offer. And they will mercilessly savage any luxury car for the smallest transgressions in quality.

So Audi’s success in Germany may well signal a coming shakeup in the premium class rankings in other global markets. Audi has spent 15 years building its luxury credentials and many German auto experts believe Audi now builds the best cars in its class. Audi’s A4 also outsold the BMW 3 Series last year in Germany, by 101,050 to 95,470. And the sprint hasn’t let up — Audi’s sales soared 26% in January. To clinch its image as a market leader though, Audi still needs to outdo its rivals in J.D. Power’s upcoming quality and reliability ratings in the US market. We’ll be watching.

Reader Comments

Andy Right

October 29, 2006 12:43 PM

Audi Is by far the best car manufacturer they have been manufacturing the safest and most reliable cars for over 30 years but their build quality was not as good as Merc and BMW but since 1994 starting on the A4 and now with A8 and A6 their quality built is far better than the Mecr and BMW, but it will take another ten years to be acknowledges by most of people as the world best cars specially on third word countries who do not understand technology or can test but depends on third perception and showing off.
good luck to Audi I always owned and loved merc and liked its quality and Image but now I sold my S- class and joined Audi club I will go back to merc as soon as the beat Audis, I bough few BMW I never liked them they are just as good as a Volvo or a SABB but I think it should never be compared to Mecrs and Audi. I think BMW should spend more money on improving the cars to catch up with merc and Audi rather than spending money on Advertising

Benjamin Levy

November 2, 2006 5:13 PM

I think it is that that the range of A6s is bigger. The base FWD 2.0 A6 starts at a lower price than the base 523i. In addition Audi matched an S6 to the M5, an A6 Avant to the 5 series touring, but Audi also has the more rugged Allroad. More models and more affordability has to lead to better sales, that doesn't mean they're better though. Audi's push to become a more high-class brand could kill this sales lead in the future.

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