Audi AG has been experiencing some increased sales, as well as increased transaction prices, due to the success on the racetrack, according to Ward’s Auto. For the past seven years, Audi has won the Le Mans and has “been the overwhelming factor in the ALMS since it entered the series in 2001.”
Scott Keogh told Ward’s Auto that racing has been helpful in selling sports cars, including the S8, RS 4 and S6. Racing is also making it feasible for the automaker to push the price range for the R8 above $100,000, which goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2007. As of now, the company already has two years worth of orders for the R8. Production of the R8 will limit sales to 800 units per calendar year.
The current base price for the R8 is $110,000, with the inclusion of an automatic transmission adding an additional $8,000. The long wait for taking delivery of an R8 has actually boosted sales of other models, such as the S8, because many people want their car “right now.”
Audi’s performance diesels, FSI direct-injection gasoline and aerodynamic advances were derived from Audi race cars. The Audi TT and A3 use Audi’s sequential manual transmission, which was developed for racing. The automaker has a program it uses to promote the company’s racing successes to potential car buyers called “Stars and Cars.” Before each ALMS race, an event is held with 300–600 potential customers in attendance. And right now, the Audi R10 TDI is the only diesel-powered car competing. It is the same model which has won Le Mans for the past seven years, and Audi believes that this will help sell the 3L TDI-powered Q7 SUV when it goes on sale late 2008 or first quarter 2009.
Source: Shuldiner, Herb. (July 11, 2007). “Audi Racing Driving Brand Sales to New Record.” Ward’s Auto. Retrieved July 12, 2007 from www.wardsauto.com.