Audi still aims for 2M units by 2020, despite diesel fiasco

Audi still aims for 2M units by 2020, despite diesel fiasco

Volkswagen Group’s ongoing diesel scandal has not discouraged Audi from hitting its long-term sales goal.

The company wants to sell two million units globally by the end of the decade. Its 2014 numbers reached 1.74 million, up 11 percent from the previous year, while 2015 sales have already hit 1.5 million units in the first 10 months of the year.

“We have to look at the global economic scenario, such as what is happening to the interest rates in the U.S. or the ‘new normal’ in China’s growth pace,” Audi chief Rupert Stadler told Automotive News Europe. “Right now, we are quite positive, so the 2020 target remains.”

The diesel fiasco expanded in early November to include the 3.0-liter TDI engine used for certain Audi models including the A7, A6 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5. Despite the sales halt for offending models, the company posted a 0.4 percent sales gain in the US market for the month — the brand’s 59th straight month of record US sales.

The V6 TDI engines take advantage of a urea-injection (AdBlue) system to minimize nitrogen oxide emissions, unlike most of the VW-badged cars powered by four-cylinder EA189 diesel engines. A simple software fix is consequently expected to bring Audi’s lineup back into compliance with US environmental regulations, likely allowing the company to quickly resume sales and minimizing negative impact on long-term growth.

Audi was already on track to hit its 2020 goal ahead of schedule. Following the double-digit gains in 2014, the company’s growth rate could be halved to five percent and still hit two million global units in 2017.