BMW exec: Audi not a competitor; Lexus is

A top BMW executive from the company's Australian arm says Audi is still not a true competitor to the Bavarian automaker. Managing director Guenther Seemann told GoAuto BMW has just two real competitors -- "one comes from Stuttgart and the other comes from Japan."

Seemann is clearly referring to Mercedes-Benz -- a longtime rival -- and Lexus, which has risen to fame over the last decade. While Audi's sales continue to rise and its offerings have become increasingly competitive, Seemann says there's more to the equation.

"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."