If there was ever any doubt as to whether SUVs are a success – not that there would be to those watching sales figures – then Audi has dissolved it, at least from their sales strategy point of view. It’s been reported that Audi’s production facility in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico is set to increase production of the Q5 by a full 150 000 units per year. According to their calculations, this will bring the percentage of Audis that are SUVs up by so much that “every third Audi will be an SUV by 2020”. This, according to Audi CEO Rupert Stradler, speaking to Automotive News Europe.
Why the massive jump? Production from this plant goes to almost every market, with a large portion set to be sold in the US. China is the only market they don’t export to. In the US, the company has seen a growth in the light commercial/SUV segment of 36%. Their passenger cars, however, have seen an increase of only 1% over the same time, giving rise to the increase as production struggles to meet demands. Heightened production will only begin to affect the market from 2016, however, when the vehicles will be made available to dealers. Still, the increase is a very definite indicator of the growing popularity of Sports Utility Vehicles.