Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for joining us to hear the latest from Audi.
A warm Detroit welcome to our Leadership from Audi AG, Volkswagen Group and of course the World´s Automotive Media.
2014 is already off to a strong start. We opened by reporting our biggest sales year ever – 158,061 vehicles – and notched our fourth consecutive annual sales record.
December 2013 finished as our best month ever. Never before had the Audi brand sold more than 15,000 cars in a month. In December we sold more than 17,000.
But that was just a start. Last week we showed the full force of Audi technology at CES.
And the result was spectacular. Audi stood as the top-trending brand among all brands at the world's largest technology showcase.
And now we have substantial news to share here in Detroit.
If I could boil today's theme down to one word it would be: confirmation.
Confirmation that the record results achieved in 2013 prove the value of our longstanding strategy to develop a sustainable business model based on brand strength and pricing power.
And confirmation that Audi fully intends to make a lot of noise in the entry-level luxury market.
This began in Los Angeles when we presented the all new A3 sedan with TFSI engines, the S3 sedan, the A3 Cabriolet and the A3 Sportback e-tron. Rest assured we will bring a TDI clean diesel model, too.
These cars are aimed at the compact luxury car market that is expected to grow 400 percent over the next five years.
Now we are adding the 2015 Audi Q3 crossover. In the Fall of 2014 it will join a segment expected to expand 220 percent over the next five years. The Q3 joins the Audi Q5, which produced a 41 percent sales gain last year - and the Q7, which registered a 45 percent increase.
There can be no question that the time is right for Audi to make this move now.
If Audi could set an all-time US sales record in 2013 with no A3 or Q3 models to sell …
imagine what we can do starting in 2014 with not one or two models, but with eight variants, four body styles and five unique engines.