20% Of A3 Sales Last Month Were e-trons, Accounting For 50% Of Audi’s Growth In 2016 Overall

7 months ago by Mark Kane 26

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron sales in U.S. – December 2016

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron sales in U.S. – December 2016

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron has been a strong seller in the US since its debut, and recently has apparently engaged a higher gear over the past 3 months.

The strong market reception for the A3 e-tron since its debut in December of 2015 is a good thing for Audi, as the company currently boasts 72 consecutive months of overall sales gains in the US – often as result of the inclusion of the e-tron’s numbers.

2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Sales not only hit two new records of late – 394 in November and then 589 in December, but the overall share of total A3 sales recently peaked at 20%. Average for the year stands at 13.6%.

It’s good sign that one in five customers opts for the plug-in hybrid, especially as there is still potential room for improvement.

Part of the reason for strong sales for the A3 e-tron is the (relatively) low price.

$38,900 gets you the Audi badge, 8.8 kWh of battery…and federal credit of $4,158, which is significant because this brings the e-tron package down to within $3,500 of the base MSRP of the A3.

Additionally, Audi (like many OEMS) has decided that the US consumer really doesn’t like the Euro-styled hatchback versions of it cars, so the only way to get a “sportback” anything at Audi today in America is to buy the e-tron version of the A3.

Also of note, 4,288 A3 e-trons sold in 2016, good for slightly more than 2% of all Audis sold in U.S, and also accounts for 54% of all the growth at the company for the year (210,213 vehicles sold in 2016 vs 202,020 in 2015)

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26 responses to "20% Of A3 Sales Last Month Were e-trons, Accounting For 50% Of Audi’s Growth In 2016 Overall"

  1. David Murray says:

    I see this as good and bad. It’s bad because the vehicle falls short in the one category that is most heavily scrutinized by EV and PHEV lovers: Range.

    Having said that, the good part is that apparently Audi has been successful at selling the car to people outside of the EV / PHEV lovers crowd.

    My point being that anyone actually shopping first and foremost for an EV likely won’t give this car much consideration. Despite that, it still sells. And that’s good and what we need in order to move this whole EV future forward.

    1. CLIVE says:

      I’d imagine that most of their sales go to Audi core buyers.

      Seriously needs more range like you said David.

    2. Martin Winlow says:

      Yes… except, of course, that if you drive one of these into London (UK) every working day, instead of a pure ICE version, you save UK£3,000 *every year* in London Congestion Charge. Call me cynical if you will… MW

    3. mx says:

      This is excellent when you consider virtually no, or literally no advertising.

  2. John says:

    This can’t be right.
    Almost all of the other carmakers keep telling us that the public does not want cars with plugs…must be a type :\

  3. CLIVE says:

    Go figure

    EV sales are up

    ICE sales are down

  4. Bacardi says:

    This is the most affordable LUXURY PHEV which gains you a HOV sticker in California where half of all PHEVs/EVs are sold…But to say it sells well; what, 500ish/mo at best is considering sell well? Odds are once production is ramped up the Prime will top all PHEVs/EVs with several thousand sales a month…

    1. PHEVfan says:

      500ish IS selling well relative to the ICE version, which is the only good comparison they have. Audi has never been a major player in the US in terms of volume. It’s foolish to think they are going to sell 1000+ per month of these things in the first year out like a Prime. Heck they only sell ~2k+ per month of the ICE version! They are certainly growing the numbers as of late, so maybe in year 2 of production they’ll clear 4 digits per month.

      1. Model ☰ Guy says:

        The reality is that the Audi A3 E-Tron is a compliance car. It only moved 4,329 units in the past 2 years in the U.S. (which is even less than the Fiat 500e, which Fiat is basically giving away). Audi really doesn’t sell a lot of the A3 ICE cars either, it’s a FWD car with a low price point that entices people to come in, but in reality, Audi’s bread and butter is the Audi A4 and their SUVs. Audi DID spend a lot of money marketing these cars. I always saw the “kick butt take names” commercials during the football games. The base price of nearly 40k (incentives or not) is hard to justify for a subcompact hatchback. Audi also didn’t heavily incentivize the leases on them either. Now I actually like this vehicle, but it would have been so much better if they actually could deliver on their promises of an AER of 35 miles. People are reporting only get 10 miles EV range in 32 or below weather. The EPA rates it at 34 MPG combined hybrid mode and 16 miles EV. Both are substandard in today’s marketplace.

  5. Ct200h says:

    Nice car and I’m glad they offer it but longer range would be better. A co worker traded her diesel in and picked up an e-tron. But she doesn’t bother plugging it in anymore! Range is just to short, not worth it.
    Phev is a waste of money if you don’t plug it in at every opportunity.

    1. mx says:

      If you listen to your stereo it would be.

  6. Just_Chris says:

    I am always in 2 minds about the phev-lites. Part of me loves them, they aren’t much more expensive than the regular version of the car and they give a person a chance to try the technology in a pretty low risk way which doesn’t really need any/much change in behaviour. Do they offer much of a reduction in fuel consumption? Or rather a great enough to warrant any sort of tax or other incentive? I don’t know, in theory they could offer bill fuel consumption reduction but only if people plug in at home and work but would someone who is not really all that bothered by the environment do this as freaquently as they would need to in order to make a difference? I’m not sure. With these cars I think there needs to be an evolution of incentives to encourage people to charge them. What sort of changes I’m not sure but I think there needs to be something to make sure people buy these and plug them in.

    1. David Murray says:

      It just seems to me… If you already bought the vehicle, it would be crazy not to plug it in every day to maximize your fuel savings. Not plugging in would literally be like throwing money away.

      1. Just_Chris says:

        I have been thinking about this and I think your right. People will inevitably end up plugging the car in even if it is just for the novelty factor. Even if they bought the car for a non-ev related reason like they wanted a hatch back or they got a good deal on a high spec A3 that just happens to have a plug. In some ways this is better than a volt sale as it potentially introduces someone to the technology who would never of even considered an EV.

        Hopefully this will help people realize that you can have a sporty car that gets well over 100 mpg (actual mpg not mpge).

  7. Russ says:

    Range is fine for me. I can drive back and forth to work, plus out to lunch each day on battery alone. I get ~100 mpg each tank, which is fine by me.

    I agree I don’t know why people don’t plug in. 16 miles gas free each day is still a significant reduction in fuel consumption regardless of your total miles driven.

    I get that hard core eco-warriors want zero emissions, but I just like driving an Audi that saves fuel and still drives like a premium car.

    1. Just_Chris says:

      Hi Russ,

      I ask the same question of anyone who has a PHEV with a fairly modest battery and I’m sorry if I’ve asked before.

      How many electric miles do you get vs petrol miles?

      1. Russ says:

        Hi Chris,

        Obviously it’s driver dependant, but I typically spread my miles out evenly through the month. However, I’ve already had a 2000 mile road trip which obviously is mostly gas.

        So, right now I’m at 5500 miles and my Fuelly shows that I’m getting 55 mpg (which is handy). So I’ve used 100 gallons of gas. At 35 mpg (which is what I see on long driving trips), that accounts for 3500 miles on gas, leaving 2000 miles gas free. Since the holidays are over, I expect to smooth out my mileage over the rest of the year and expect that electric-only mileage to go up.

        I know this doesn’t float the boat of people around here, but I love the car, love how it drives/looks and the fact that I can drive around during the day on battery is a bonus to me. Electricity is cheap here (Texas) and since I get free weekends, that makes it even better. I’m thinking of switching to a free nights program and I’d save even more.

        Hope this answered your question. Take care,
        Russ

  8. Mat says:

    Here in Alberta, our current governing left of center party introduced environmental window dressing, just enough to allow pipelines getting built and bitumen flow to market. The previous government would likely pay you for buying a truck with 10 mpg because burning oil helps your neighbour… No interest in the health of the planet here, no heart for the people in coastal and southern regions or the arctic for now and the foreseeable future. What do we care if they drown, starve or burn?
    With zero incentives and no environmental legislation to protect the planet, the F150 is half the price to lease than the volt or the bolt. You could lease two escalades for a Model S. The etron really ends up being the only nice ride that is halfway acceptable for the environment.

  9. Scott says:

    I drove one, it is a lovely car. Audi makes nice things. Sure, more AER would be grand, but a really nice car.

  10. CLIVE says:

    Huge statement for Audi at this point.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out for Audi.

  11. Pjwood1 says:

    Price is right on top of VW’s new AllTrack Jetta. Unless space issues, sounds like a no-brainer.

  12. Cab says:

    Last year I test drove one back to back with a new Volt. I preferred the drive and feel of the Audi over the Volt by a good bit. As David Murray points out, however, at 16 miles of range it just wasn’t quite compelling enough as a PHEV. If it had eclipsed 25, I would likely be driving one now. I think I posted one of my typical lengthy “car guy” reviews over on the Volt forum.

    1. Russ says:

      Same here. I drove the new Volt and while it was a nice car, there were just enough things about the Audi that I liked better. I live close to work so the range works for me.

      I see lots of Volts around here, though, so I’m in the minority it seems. 🙂

  13. PeterK says:

    I spoke to an owner who had just parked hers. She’s a long-term Audi fan, who wasn’t interested in ordering a Tesla Model 3 because she likes the Audi feel. But she said she had a hard time figuring out what she needed for charging, because the dealer people weren’t very helpful. Considering it’s only 16 miles of range, I expect 120v plug is sufficient for most people however.

    1. Russ says:

      Wow, that’s really strange. It comes with two plugs, one for 110v and the other for 220v. It’s about as simple as can be.

  14. Benjamin says:

    Picked up e-tron in January 2016. 16K miles later, I’m still loving driving this car. Have already save $$$ in express lane toll charges here in Los Angeles. My commute is 50 miles round trip and I use to charge at work. However, now that there are more plug-in cars at work, charging is quite a hassle. So I just charge at home and drive in auto hybrid all day. I get around 50-60 MPGe.

    My last car was a 2006 A3 and I wanted another A3 sportwagon as replacement. Really a no brainer to get the e-tron.