Walter Hanek
Corporate Director
Audi México
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View from the Top

Dedication to Mexico Securing Reputable Image for Audi

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 11:39

Q: With the premium segment rapidly developing in Mexico, what effects have you detected on Audi’s sales performance in the country?

A: The premium market has been growing for many years. During the eight years I have spent in Mexico, the premium segment has developed three times faster than the total market. From January to March 2015, that increase was not as rapid as it was in the same period in previous years. Still, the luxury segment has shown a growth rate of 11%. The exchange rate and the reduction of used vehicle imports have been beneficial to the volume market, but they have not affected the luxury segment enough to see a real impact. Audi is not growing as fast as its competitors in the premium segment, with only a 3.9% increase during Q1 2015. This is mainly because of the A1 and Q3 runout we experienced, which are our high-volume models. However, a new shipment of these models arrived in Mexico in May and June 2015, respectively. With that, we expect higher growth rates between Q2 and Q3 2015. Even so, Audi achieved a 35-month continuous growth record in April 2015. During 2015, Audi will be going through a complete renovation of its model line-up, which will give us significant sales potential in the market. We are clearly on a growth path in Mexico. First, we want to increase our sales in all areas of the country, and second, we want to ensure that our existing customers remain loyal and satisfied with Audi.

Q: How important is Mexico in Audi’s global sales strategy?

A: In 2014, Audi México sold nearly 13,000 units out of the company’s global total of approximately 1.74 million. While this may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, we are the market leader, we have a strong global image, and we are really well-accepted as a brand in México. If you combine this reputation with the arrival of the new plant for the Audi Q5 in San Jose Chiapa, Puebla, then this presents potential for our future in the country. Overall, we are truly pleased with our market position in Mexico. The key to being successful in the Mexican market is to offer attractive products that customers can purchase out of the showroom. Therefore, we offer well-equipped packages for each of our models, focusing on different characteristics of the vehicles including luxury, sportiness, and exclusivity. We also offer a comprehensive maintenance program called Audi Plus, where the customer receives all the benefits of a premium brand: three years of warranty, three years of maintenance service, five years of road assistance, and partial theft insurance.

Q: Which Audi models have had the warmest reception in Mexico?

A: The A3 sedan is currently one of our bestsellers. Nevertheless, the A1 and the Q3 are also well-received in the Mexican market. Additionally, even in their run out period, the Q5 and the A4 are seeing decent sales figures. Audi has an international reputation that has been well-established in Mexico. This reputation, along with the new plant, will help us get the Audi Q5 to our customers in less time.

Q: How many dealerships does Audi have in Mexico and how do you decide on the best places to establish these?

A: Our national network consists of 38 locations, including service points. While this is enough to cover the entire country, most of the business in the luxury segment is centered in Mexico City, representing approximately 65% of our total market. Furthermore, if you combine the main markets of Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Puebla, that figure reaches almost 90%. We also maintain the highest quality of service throughout our entire network by selecting the right people, who are then put through rigorous training programs at the Audi Academy in Puebla.