WASHINGTON -- Despite sagging demand for luxury cars, the redesigned A4 propelled Audi of America to its 69th straight monthly U.S. sales record in September. Sales at sister brand VW continued to wane.
Audi sold 3,175 A4s last month, a 43 percent gain from a year earlier, marking the model’s best September total since 2013. The A4 offset lower sales of other sedan models and a rare drop in Q5 volume, lifting Audi’s sales by 1.6 percent to a September record of 17,617.
A4 sales were up 15 percent through the first nine months of 2016, while the overall compact luxury car segment was down 15 percent through September, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
On Friday, Audi opened a $1.3 billion assembly plant in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico, to produce the Q5, its best-selling model in the U.S. Production is underway now, and U.S. sales of the redesigned Q5, shown at the Paris auto show last week, will begin next spring.
“With an all-new Q5 and state-of-the-art factory in our region, Audi will be able to build on the massive success of the model’s first generation and better serve our U.S. customers and dealers, cutting delivery times in half,” Audi of America COO Mark Del Rosso said in a statement.
VW falls again
VW brand sales declined for the 11th straight month in September, falling 7.8 percent to 24,112 vehicles. Through nine months, VW sales are down 13 percent to 231,268.
The arrival of VW’s long-awaited Golf Alltrack all-wheel-drive wagon did little to blunt falling sales across much of the brand’s car-heavy lineup. According to a spokeswoman, VW sold 131 Alltracks after sales began in the final week of September. Dealers still are receiving early shipments of the rugged Golf variant, and inventories are expected to reach normal levels between now and mid-October.
VW will reach a key milestone on Oct. 18, when U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco will decide whether to approve the company’s plan to buy back as many as 475,000 2.0-liter diesels with rigged emissions software.
Meanwhile, the terms of VW’s proposed deal to compensate its roughly 650 U.S. dealerships were presented to Breyer on Friday. The pact will provide retailers who agree to the package an average of $1.85 million in compensation over the next 18 months, in addition to other benefits.