Audi A3 sedan attracts younger, first-time luxury buyers

With a double-digit increase in sales for its competitively priced yet luxurious A3 sedan, the German automaker is taking a step towards closing a wide gap with rivals BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, the respective leaders in the U.S. automotive luxury market segment.

The 23 percent jump in sales of the A3 sedan, which has a base price under $30,000, has apparently caught on with younger, discerning buyers who are attracted to it because it is fashionable and stands out, Bloomberg reported.

Casey Veggies, a Los Angeles rapper signed to Epic Records and managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, has posted photos of his Audi A3 to Instagram and recently posted an image of a BMW 5 Series sedan.

The market leaders are maintaining – just not at the same growth margins as Audi, at least last month. Audi delivered 2,452 A3s and 16,867 cars total during that period, but BMW sold 30,201 vehicles, a 12 percent increase over the previous, while Mercedes sold 26,506, good for a 8.6 percent jump.

The Mercedes E-Class sedan deliveries accounted for 6,500 of the total, while 7,940 of the 5 Series from BMW – the luxury standard – were delivered to showrooms.

The good news for Audi is that the company’s latest sales spike is not a fluke – the sales figure is its 42nd straight monthly sales record. Audi has a solid 11.5 percent of the U.S. market for imported luxury cars, an increase from 9.7 percent directly attributed to the A3’s success, according to Bloomberg, which cited Scott Keogh, president of Audi America.

Audi has passed Cadillac and Acura in its rapid rise. Keogh said: “The middle ground is a very tough place to be. You need to have the strong brand first. Everything else follows that.”