12 Jun 2012 (12 Pages)
Includes 3 FREE Quarterly Updates.
New product launches announced for the Middle East region in May support BMI's view on the strength of the SUV segment, as well as our view that the volume brand segment is growing in acceptance while the premium segment will maintain its position as a growth driver in the sector. Both Audi and Renault have launched compact SUVs and there is reason to believe that both will have a good chance of success.
Building on the popularity of its larger Q5 and Q7 SUVs, which accounted for 30% of the company's sales in the region in the first four months of 2012, Audi has launched its smaller Q3. According to Audi Middle East's Managing Director Jeff Mannering, demand for the Q5 and Q7 still exceeds supply and the unit is negotiating with the plant responsible for a larger allocation for the region. By expanding the range to include a compact version, Audi is reaching out to a wider audience and Mannering believes the Q3 'will fare equally as well' as the Q5 and Q7.
New models are also an integral feature of Audi's growth strategy for the Middle East, which BMI has identified as a key region in the battle for leadership of the global premium market (see 'Middle East Becomes Key Battleground In Audi's Global Leadership Campaign' January 10 2012 on our online service). In 2011, Audi reported record sales of 7,865 units in its Middle East markets, up 26.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) to surpass its 25% growth target. According to the company's press release, this performance means Audi is now the fastest growing premium brand in the region. The Q7 becoming Audi's best-selling model in the region with sales of 1,588 units, while the slightly smaller Q5 led the compact SUV segment with sales of 1,218 units.