Audi says hybrid future depends U.S. growth

Audi isn't committing to additional hybrid development in the U.S. until the market expands faster. Said Marius Lehna, project manager of the Audi Q7 hybrid: "The future market development has only limited predictability so any decision (on hybrid models) is tainted with uncertainties."

Lehna said if the U.S. market doesn't grow "significantly faster" than the current pace, it would be difficult to sell enough hybrids in "commercially sensible volumes." Speaking to Reuters at the Aachen Colloquium industry congress in Germany, Lehna said that aside from the Prius, sales of other hybrids don't have significant sales numbers. He also added that the typical hybrid customer is mid- to late-'50s in age with high income. "It is by no means the young, dynamic consumers that buy a hybrid vehicle but rather an intellectual upper class," he added.

Audi and VW are developing hybrid technology along with Porsche. The Q7 is scheduled for a 2008 release.

[Source: Reuters via MSN Money]

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