Fri, Feb 21, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Audi Taiwan bids to drive sales with new cars, stores

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Audi Taiwan Co (台灣奧迪), the nation’s fifth-largest luxury car distributor, yesterday said it aims to increase its vehicle sales by more than 20 percent this year as it opens new outlets and introduces new models to Taiwan.

The company has set a goal to sell 5,000 cars this year, up from 4,100 last year, Audi Taiwan managing director Daniel Khoo (邱山祥) told reporters yesterday.

The company is set to launch the RS6 Avant station wagon and the RS7 Sportback next month, and will bring in its A8 S8 luxury sedans and SQ5 super utility vehicle by the end of this year to make its product mix in Taiwan more complete, the company said.

Khoo said that the company reaching its target this year depends on its sales next month and in April, after the two new models enter the market.

“We started training the sales team in June last year with the aim of familiarizing them with the new models so they can find suitable customers when the cars are launched,” Khoo said.

However, there is uncertainty over whether the firm can get enough of the new models, he said.

Last year, the company faced a shortage of its popular A3 Sportback, a small, entry-level premium car, Khoo said. The problem was not solved until the company rolled out a revamp in August last year, he added.

Khoo expects the company to sell 900 to 1,000 units of both the A3 Sportback and its A3 sedans this year, up 50 percent from last year.

The company said it plans to open an exhibition center for its new cars in Taipei in April and increase its total numbers of showrooms for new cars to 13.

The company launched the first exhibition center for Audi sports cars in the world on Dunhua S Road in Taipei earlier this month, it added.

Audi Taiwan also plans to open an after-sales service center in Tucheng District (土城區), New Taipei City in June and a center for used Audis in Greater Kaohsiung — which would be the first of its kind to be set up in southern Taiwan — by the end of this year, the company said.

The Germany-based company currently has one used car center in Taipei and another in Greater Taichung, it added.

Khoo said he expects the local market to grow significantly this year from 378,456 units last year.

“Total car sales hit their most recent peak in 2004 and 2005, when about 400,000 to 500,000 units were sold, and it is about time for people who bought cars at that time to replace them,” he said.

Khoo said the fastest-growing sector is still that of small, entry-level luxury cars, as car distributors such as Mercedes-Benz Taiwan — the largest luxury car distributor in the nation — continue to sell the cars to affluent young people.

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