Audi sold more A4’s than BMW 3 Series in Germany

3-Series | January 19th, 2009 by 21
2009 vw golf

Before I get into this debate, I have to say that, at the moment, I do not have the BMW sale numbers for their 3 …

Before I get into this debate, I have to say that, at the moment, I do not have the BMW sale numbers for their 3 Series sold in Germany in 2008. But I will give you the story briefly as I learned about it from our friends at Autoblog and an official Audi press release.

Over the last few months, I mentioned several times how in my conversations with BMW executives, I was reminded each time that the Audi is the new BMW competitor, despite the past history where everyone believed Mercedes-Benz is their biggest and most important competitor.

2009 bmw a4 498x352

In the past years, BMW and Audi have competed head-to-head on almost all the market segments, from luxury sedans and roadsters, to Sport Activity Vehicles.

According to Audi and the German department of vehicle registration, in 2008, there were 98,714 A4 models registered, ahead of BMW 3 Series and behind the Volkswagen Golf.

2009 vw golf 498x290


But here is where the confusion starts. While Autoblog reports that the total number represents the new A4 models registered, in the Audi’s press release, there is no mention of the registration numbers being based on new vehicles registered only.

Audi names their TT roadster one of the most successful models in their class, a statement that many might disagree with, but 2009 it’s a whole new different game and the new BMW Z4 Roadster will most likely do very well.

Regardless of this, we have to hand it to them, they built some great cars lately and they closed the gap that separated the Ingolstadt based carmaker from BMW or Mercedes.

[Source: Autoblog ]

Thank for the tip Giom!

21 responses to “Audi sold more A4’s than BMW 3 Series in Germany”

  1. Gragop says:

    I’d like to know why BMW thinks Audi is surpassing them in sales within their home market.

    That said, I still think the A4 is overpriced and the interiors are overly praised for the quality of plastics and functionality of the console in the current B8 platform over previous iterations of the A4.

  2. Horatiu B. says:

    @Gragop: I don’t know Andrew, some of their interiors are pretty damn cool.

    I don’t think our bimmers have better ones, maybe the Z4 and new 7.

    I need to make an analysis based on pricing, Audi A4 vs 335i in Germany, I’m wondering which one comes out cheaper.

  3. Brookside says:

    Last year I’d take a bimmer over any comparable model Audi- any day.

    This year?….anyone driven an A5…or the S5? An incredible car. Not the screamer the 335 coupe is, but the Audi is simply a wonderfully balanced gorgeously designed automobile that, in total seems to me the better choice.
    Truth? Audi is catching up to BMW, but they aren’t there yet. What I think really holds them back is their dealership network in the U.S. (great in some areas…freakin’ woeful in others), far fewer choices in options, and nearly unbendable financial terms.
    But yeah, the race is between Audi and BMW….not Mercedes.

  4. Gragop says:


    I really hate Audi’s packaging of vehicles in the U.S. Despite the significant research I’m sure they’ve done on marketing in the US – I don’t want to buy a car where I only have really 3 to 6 packaging methods for options. That doesn’t do anything for me so I end up with a car specced kind of the way I want it with me paying for options I didn’t really want in the first place.

  5. Brookside says:

    Audi is really poorly run in the U.S. Either it’s that or the company in Germany habitually doesn’t understand the market…there’s a disconnect somewhere along the line.

    The other thing that really cheeses me is the fact that customers end up eating the low residual value on both ends….when you buy the car (and the sales guy looks at you like you just picked his wallet after going thru epic negotiations and getting 5% off sticker) and then watching the depreciation drop like a lead weight as soon as you drive it off the lot.

    In my part of the country the only sensible way to buy an Audi is to wait and buy used.

  6. @Brookside: That gap is definitely getting ready to be closed, if not being closed already. They came along way and they started to innovate now, see Sportback Concept.

    But, I still have faith in BMW and they never let me down. I believe they will conquer new markets and innovate some more.

  7. Giom says:

    To me it comes down to front enjin – rear drive. That alone swings me towards BMW. I know Audi has made great effort to move their enjins backwards on the chassis, but it still doesn’t sit behind the front wheel.

    Then theres the all weel drive -wich I’m sure is great in the wet and in the snow. But it’s heavy and only works (is needed) some of the time. Interesting that BMW sold more 4×4 cars in europe than Audi…? Not just X3, X5 and X6s, Threes and Fives too.

    Then theres the enjins. Enough said!

  8. Giom says:

    @Horatiu B.:

    Am I really the only one that actually likes the old 7 series interior more than the new one? It just looked more special and unique to me. The new one is nice too, but nothing sets it apart from the onther BMs… on photos at least.

    I must admit, I’m still a huge fan of the out going seven!

  9. I’ve been a BMW owner and now own a newer Audi. I must say the gap is closing. Before I only liked BMW, now I personally like Audi more. Audi only needs one thing to really beat BMW and that is more power. I love the look of the new Audi A4,S5,A5, all better than BMW. I don’t know what you guys are saying the interior is great. The interior is pretty damn similar to Lamborghini. The car handles great,never had any problems as I did with my BMW mainly electrical all the time. BMW is amazing and mainly known for performance. As far as luxury and looks I’d stick to Audi I just wish they made Audi’s more powerful. And also Benz is totally out of the competition. They only have the nice SL and S class.

  10. George says:

    I think that BMW is paying the price for the poor design on the 3 series sedan design and that is all. Also, I think that BMW begins to realize that their major competitor is Audi and not Mercedes.

  11. Matski says:

    Competition is no bad thing in terms of product design and quality.

    2 things really bug me about Audi:

    1) The interiors, what is the big deal! I’m not saying they’re bad, but I’m sorry – I don’t think they look nicer, I wouldn’t say they are monumentally well screwed together compared to the opposition either, I just don’t get why Audi fans always fall back on interior design.

    2) The arrogance of the brand itself. Mainly in the advertising, they are clearly gunning for BMW and Merc, that “meet the beckers” thing, funny from a stereotypical point of view…. but its akin to some fat brummy bloke walking up to you in the pub and saying “my car it’s considerably better than yours!” — you’d just want to punch him, not buy his car!!

    …. okay so I’m really ranting now …

    They’re doing okay at the moment, but as they get bigger, over-time they will face the same problems as BMW has. It’s been easy for Audi over the past few years to increase sales as they have entered new segments where BMW and/or Merc had been for a few years… but eventually they’ll reach a point (as BMW has) where the only remaining option is to develop smaller and smaller niches to sell cars into
    .. and the styling… they’re building a brand image in a similar fashion to BMW in the 80’s and 90’s.. one design, stretched and squashed abit, thats fine for one or two generations but after that it gets a bit bland and boring. BMW were heavily critiscised for “same sausage, different length” styling so they changed that, and have grown since… Audi’s are already a little to conservative for my liking.. and in about 5 years time I think people will be really bored of the look of them.. then Audi will have to roll the dice on styling (as Bangle did with BMW) and see how it goes.

    All this on top of managing the growth properly aswell.. which can always go wrong! Mind you when you mummy and daddy are VW and Porsche, I guess they’ll never be short of £$€ !

    Rant over..

  12. adood84 says:

    @Matski: I totally agree with you, Audi is styling is boring and the are still not daring them selves, plus rear wheel drive does it for me :)

  13. Gragop says:


    Given the state of the global economy and car market – I’d never assume they won’t run out of cash!

  14. E92-TORONTO says:



  15. AUDIFAN says:


  16. Mathis says:

    I have owned both, started with Audi switched to BMW love the rear wheel drive. But I have to say it seems Audi is better set up for the crisis. BMW is contemplating asking for German government money, and announced today that they put 26.000 workers in 4 German plants on short work schedules (don’t know what its called in English). This is in order to produce 38.000 cars less in 2009. Audi is not doing this and is planning to use 2009 for an agressive growth, they have not had to scale back production to the contrary.

  17. Solrac_x81 says:

    I think it is because BMW is only with Mini and RR and Audi is in the VW group (VW, Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini etc…) to name a few.

  18. Horatiu B. says:

    @Mathis: It’s still too early in the year though, things can change for Audi as well. But yes, they did quite well lately, and honestly, good competition is good for us, the BMW fans, it will motivate them to build better cars and hopefully, not so expensive.

  19. Mathis says:

    Sure its early in the year, but as a German I hope that things will not get worse for Audi, rather I hope they will get better for BMW. So that as little German car industry jobs will have to be sacrificed. Because to be honest BMW over did the leasing game, they have been pushing their cars out through extremely convincing leasing conditions and now they are screwed because the used car values hit rock bottom and things don’t add up anymore. BMW is even contemplating government bailout…

    A few months ago things still looked much rosier for BMW.

  20. Anish says:

    thank you for putting up this site…..i drive a audi a4 (2000) model….and will be selling it for a upgrade to a BMW or AUDI a4…….but after reading this i have decided ….Audi is a complete package….BMW is better to drive…but sorry to say its ugly from the back …like a toyota camry….and the interior is to dam boring…..BMW please wake up and prove yourself….the only one thing audi needs now is more hp.
    i test drove both the cars on the same days for 30min each …bmw was better on the feel but cant really see myself in such a poorly designed car.

    and btw Mercedes u get worse by the day….even with your new look i hate the way it feels when u drive it…

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