Audi has certainly lifted its game over the past five years, releasing more models, increasing its market share and picking up a horde of quality gongs, so you’d think fellow German luxury brand BMW would be feeling the heat. Not so, says BMW Group Australia managing director Guenther Seemann, speaking recently with GoAuto, mainly because it doesn’t build RWD cars.

Seemann explains that BMW has only two main competitors, “one comes from Stuttgart and the other comes from Japan”. He also suggested that Audi’s recent sales increase was spurred by heavy discounting and that this tactic will eventually harm the brand and reduce customer loyalty.

The market seems to disagree. Audi sales are up all over the globe and this has surely come at the expense of numerous BMW sales. Seemann admits Audi is doing well, but believes it hasn’t earned the trust of its customers that a premium brand commands.

“It took us many years to build the trust in our customer. It takes many years to achieve what we always wanted to achieve, to become number one or number two in the world.” It appears that, in the eyes of BMW, Audi's four rings have a long way to go until it becomes a genuine rival to the blue and white propeller.