Audi is celebrating a hat-trick of success following the Fleet News Awards, including winning the prestigious honour of being named fleet manufacturer of the year.
The car maker's recently updated A3 was voted best compact premium car and, for the second successive year, the A4 was crowned best premium car.
The manufacturer of the year award is one of only two at the annual Fleet News event that ismade on the strength of the votes cast by leasing companies and fleet managers actively engaging with manufacturers and their products on a regular basis.
James Douglas, head of Audi fleet sales, said: "Product awards made by the particularly discerning fleet sector always have a special significance for us, so we are absolutely delighted that two of our core models have excelled in the eyes of the Fleet News judges.
"It takes an awful lot to remain competitive in the fiercely fought categories in which the A3 and A4 operate, and I think the fact that the latter has prevailed for a second successive year is a real indicator of the car's calibre.
"Models like these and the many other strong business choices in the Audi range deserve to be backed by an exceptional and all-encompassing fleet customer support offer, and I am immensely pleased and proud that the influential Fleet News readership clearly believes that we deliver that - my team and I will never stop trying to further optimise our service, but this prestigious award indicates that we are making headway and it is a great honour to receive it."
In its awards citation for the A3, the Fleet News judging panel writes: 'Spacious, with a wide range of engine and trim options and best-in-class residuals', the A3 offers low overheads for fleets and low benefit-in-kind tax for drivers. It does everything well so it's no surprise that it enjoys such a high level of loyalty among company car drivers.'
For the second year in succession, the A4 also cleaned up with the Best Premium Car award. The judges described the car as 'well equipped with a broad range of efficient yet dynamic engines.' They also confirm that 'running costs are very competitive, while build quality and interior quality are class leading', and assert that 'the Audi A4 has the greatest driver appeal of any car in this category'.
In his commentary on the awards Fleet News editor Stephen Briers acknowledged the efforts made by Audi to not only build and enhance its range but also its relationships with fleet customers, writing: 'A busy 2016 saw Audi introduce the latest generation A4 and launch a car into a new sector with the Q2, as well as make important updates to the A3 range maintaining its desirability over rivals. They have ensured the company continues to offer one of the most appealing product line-ups for fleets and their drivers.
"Audi remains highly competitive on running costs while relationships with fleets have improved with a real focus on customer service at both a corporate and local businesses level.'