Audi Australia’s new chief executive, Jeff Mannering, says the company is on track to secure a significantly better supply of vehicles next year after a tough 2022 – in which its sales fell 14 .1%.
While most automotive brands’ holding lots have been hit by headwinds such as COVID, chip shortages, the war in Ukraine and the transportation crisis, Audi and the wider Volkswagen Group have been more hit harder than most.
Audi’s year-to-date sales in Australia stand at 11,812 units, its lowest January-October total since 2010.
During the same period this year, Mercedes-Benz Cars sold 23,280 units (down 5.5%), BMW 20,104 (down 3.7%) and Volvo 8852 (up 11.6%). %). Lexus fared worse in percentage terms, down 26.1% to 5,976 with its own Toyota Group shortages.
“It’s a complex question, but I’m absolutely certain that we’re going to have more production next year,” Mannering told us.
“…I am 99.9% confident that the supply will be better,” he added, nevertheless pointing out potential issues that could cause further problems in 2023, such as the gas supply in Europe where most of its cars are made.
“We just do our budgets now and our volume budget is based on production budgets, and it’s significantly better than what we had this year,” he said, referring to commitments made to Audi Australia. by its factories in the group.
Mr Mannering gave an overview of the challenges he expects to face in his new role in the coming moments, adding a central objective for the wider VW Group here would be to speed up the time it takes between the launch of a vehicle and its arrival in Australia.
“It’s not just the semiconductor issue, not just the Ukraine-Russia issue, but logistics is a big issue right now, even to get trucks and trains from the factory, to ship cars , the only country that is worse off is New Zealand, we have 90 days left between the end of production and our arrival in Australia,” he said.
He added that fewer Audis in the future will lack certain features – a legacy of semiconductor shortage issues, compensated by discounts offered – except perhaps for high-level technologies such as laser lights.
Despite the more optimistic outlook for 2023, one high-demand Audi that won’t arrive until 2024 at the earliest is the Q4 e-tron EV, the brand’s rival for the Tesla Model Y, BMW iX1, Volvo XC40 Recharge, the Lexus UX300e and EAQ Mercedes-Benz.
“This [Q4 launch] it won’t be next year. Production may begin next year – not will, might – but the car will not be shown. I would love to have him here in early 2024, that’s what we’re looking for,” Mr Mannering said.