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American voters saw it when Ralph Nader broke up the deadlock between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000. American drivers are seeing it this year, as Audi threatens to affect the years-long deadheat between BMW andMercedes-Benz for luxury market supremacy.
According to monthly sales figures compiled by Autodata, Audi is closing in on BMW and Mercedes in the race to sell the most luxury cars on the market this year. It likely won’t surpass either in overall volume, but it will siphon sales off current leader BMW. Having a target of 200,000 annual sales by 2020, nearly double what it sells now, won’t hurt in the process.
“It’s really a slug-fest between BMW and Mercedes,” says Mike Wall, an auto analyst for IHS Automotive. “Audi is still down in the rankings, but boy they’re making a move.”