Audi’s Prepping 17 New Models With Which to Fend Off BMW

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Ford may be leading the pack this year with its 23 planned global product launches, but Audi (VLKAY.PK) isn’t too far behind; it’s got 17 new releases slated for this year, including a new TT coupe, its Q3 crossover, and the recently released A3 sedan.

Volkswagen AG’s flagship luxury arm is gearing up for an all-out assault on the reigning king of luxury, fellow Bavarian firm BMW. It appears to be working already — Audi outsold BMW in February with 242,400 cars moved, just 383 more than Bimmer. Last year at the same time, Audi fell behind BMW by 429 cars; BMW has led the luxury market for nine straight years.

“We will increase deliveries in all regions of the world, including Europe,” Bloomberg quoted Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler saying. It added that Stadler is anticipating 2014′s revenue to swell slightly, and forecast that registrations in China — currently Audi’s biggest market — will exceed 500,000 vehicles for the first time. Audi is VW’s biggest growth engine, and it will be sinking about $30.4 billion into the brand over the next half-decade – 70 percent of which will go towards new products and technology.

“Competition in the premium segment is more intense than ever,” Stadler said at the Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt. “We’re ahead of our two main rivals in the first two months, but this doesn’t really interest me much. Our focus is on further growth.”

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