• Jan 30th 2007 at 8:36AM
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In Europe, Audi is a brand to be reckoned with. Globally, Audi is only behind such juggernauts as Mercedes and BMW for luxury supremacy, with sales of 903,000 vehicles worldwide. Here in the USA, however, Audi is playing catch-up. With only 90,000 sales, Audi is currently behind Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, Acura, Lincoln, Infiniti, and Volvo. As a matter of fact, both the Lexus RX 350 and the BMW 3 Series best the Audi brand on its own. Only the A4 puts up respectable numbers, totaling about 50,000 sales in '06. Well, nothing increases sales numbers more than new product and right now Audi is in the middle of launching 19 new products between 2005 and 2007. The A3 and Q7 have been in the market for some time, the TT, R8 and recently spied A5 are coming just around the bend.

With all the new products coming on board, the next step for Audi will be to improve its image and get its vehicles to the forefront of customers minds. To do that, Audi executives are looking to improve marketing, dive head-first into internet-based ads, and add more exclusive Audi dealers. With Americans looking more and more at luxury vehicles as a source of expression, Audi is executing its strategy at the right time. Audi's long-term goal is to produce 1.4 million vehicles by 2015. That would give the German automaker about 80,000 more sales than the BMW group had in 2006. Good luck, Audi. Good luck.

[Source: Auto Week]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      They're great cars and drive like a dream. They're a discount slightly used and always in the shop for some BS. I'd save my money and buy VW. They're almost the same? Right?
      • 8 Years Ago
      From the article:
      "the next step for Audi will be to improve its image and get its vehicles to the forefront of customers minds. To do that, Audi executives are looking to improve marketing, dive head-first into internet-based ads, and add more exclusive Audi dealers"

      I really hope this isn't their final plan and just some bad reporting. More marketing! That's their answer? I think their priorities should be: improve quality of cars, lower their prices a bit to undercut BMW more, improve the dealers they already have, and make the Euro-delivery program somewhat competitive with Volvo and BMW. Better marketing isn't the answer to improve an image, better products are the answer. Reliability is Audi's weak spot.

      Audi is nowhere near the top on JD Power 4-year reliability or Consumer Reports long term reliability rankings. I have an A6 that has been in for repairs far too many times with significant problems. Blown ABS braking computer ($900), 2 defective water temp sensors, defective throttle body (replaced under factory recall for free), broken auto-dimming mirror, power windows that refused to roll up when wet, memory seats that can't remember, rear window lockout that won't unlock, and the list goes on.

      As it stands now, I would not buy another Audi. If they can prove that they can make a reliable vehicle that isn't going to chew up my budget or leave me stranded on the side of the road, I might consider an A4 Avant to replace the A6.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Audi was also moving upscale in Europe for some time. Now, they've made it... Don't pretend that Audi's are rebadged VW. That's just not true. There is no other brand, and I mean none whatsoever, that can match Audi's interior and exterior finish. If you want to be cool, buy Audi. In Europe we're getting tyred of Merc and BMW. Many companies don't let employees get Merc or BMW, because of the agressive and arrogant image they have.

      A common complaint I see in European car magazines about Caddies (and such) is the interior finish. Well, buy an Audi and you know how it's supposed to be done.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "They have the hardware to do it, they just dont have the name to do it yet."

      unfortunately, that's true in america. however, in europe (and especially in germany), audi is already recognised as the leading luxury automaker, long-since having surpassed mb and bmw...

      now they just have to continue putting out amazing products and keep improving their dealer network and service centers in the united states.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Audi is no less reliable than BMW or Mercedes and calling it a "gussied up VW" is just pure ignorance, with the exception of the A3.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Give us the turbodiesel!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'll take Zerman junk any day over NA crap and copied Asian!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Horrible, horrible reliability. You can apologize all you want for VW and the rest of the germans, but if I wanted crappy electricals which fail at the drop of a hat, then I'd buy me an Audi. You need to be rich to own one out of warranty. Not that BMW or Mercedes are much better, but they have much better image and brand cachet built up.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Audis are not gussied up VW?

      Same platforms, same engines, same transmissions, same materials, same design, same everything. Wait, wait. Different sheetmetal and trims. Oh yes, and different awd/4wd desing.

      Audi = Volkswagen more epensive.

      I'd add same electrical gremlins.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Audi is just a gussied up VW - and you know what that means. Jerman Junk!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would have bought an Audi if not for two things.

      First, I always hear horror stories about their reliability. It seems that the dealers are arrogant and don't help matters much.

      Second, for the money Audi wants for the FWD A4, you are pretty much in the BMW neighborhood. BMW is a much stronger brand name for those of you into throwing your keys on the bar to get women, and the driving experience can't be beat.
      • 8 Years Ago
      All cars are infinately more reliable now than they were 10 years ago. So to call one brand unreliable these days is completely retarded. Some individual cars are lemons, some are rock solid. Never listen to anyone who says that the entire manufacturing output of a particular car maker is unreliable. They are a dunce.

      Same with dealer comments. Some dealers are excellent, some fall short. Trips to the same delaership can result in dramatically different experiences for different people. Just don't go in there with a chip on your shoulder and you'll probably get treated decently.

      Having just spent a few days car shopping with a friend, I can tell you this. Never go car shopping in an Audi. Every other car you sit in will feel cheap and plasticky. Audi interiors are streets ahead of anything else out there under $50K.
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