How Audi CEO is transforming the 111-year-old brand Car News

Audi recently revealed its most affordable electric car yet, the Q4 E-tron, a mid-size SUV which is expected to sell for between £ 40,000 and £ 50,000 when it hits UK showrooms at the end of this year.

It offers generous interior dimensions to match the Q5 in a more compact exterior package and is widely regarded as the German brand’s first mainstream electric vehicle.

Shortly after, the wraps came for the A6 E-tron Concept, a realistic preview of the electric version of the long-lasting A6 executive sedan.

It is clear that the electrification of the Ingolstadt range is gaining momentum, and questions are being raised about what this means for the brand’s ICE offerings, its small cars and its positioning in the market.

Autocar recently spoke exclusively with Audi CEO Markus Duesmann to understand what the near future holds for the company as it undergoes one of the most significant transformations in its 111-year history. , launching no less than 20 brand new electric models by 2025..

Could the Q4 E-tron become Audi’s best-selling car?

“I hope it will. The car is definitely positioned in the middle of our strongest models, and we really want to do high volumes with it.

“Battery cars are becoming more and more important in the market and we are finding that our BEV customers don’t want to go back. [to ICE], we therefore expect strong growth.

“Will the Q4 E-tron be the best-selling Audi? The truth is, we don’t know. Deciding on the volume to install in our factories is one of the difficulties that we encounter. We can react to changes, and that’s a good thing, but forecasting demand has always been difficult for cars with combustion engines, and it is more difficult.

The Q4 E-tron is as big on the inside as the Q5 but more compact. Does this suggest that electric vehicles will change the classic model lineup structure?

“It’s a good question, and we’ve thought about it a lot, but we expect the line-up to stay pretty much as it is now. Across all segments, we have customers wondering when we will launch an electric vehicle that matches their preferences.

“You are correct in thinking that the ratio between the internal and external size of our electric vehicles is better, but the preferences of the buyers depend on more than that: the budget, whether you sit high or low, whether the car is short or long … So we expect the classic segments to stay. “

The Q4 E-tron’s entry price in the UK is around £ 40,000. Will it be possible to buy a cheaper Audi EV, like a Q3 E-tron?

“We’re looking at that, and we see some options, but we haven’t decided yet. Maybe we will, but not in the short term. The Volkswagen Group offers other opportunities for people who want smaller and cheaper electric vehicles. We believe that our position in the market means that we should not stretch too much for the lower entry segments. “

Will electrification reduce the number of Audis offered?

“I wouldn’t expect the number of models we offer to increase, and maybe decrease a bit. The number of combustion models will certainly decrease as we launch electric models, but reducing the total number of models is not a priority for us. Keeping our stability together is the priority. “

You said Audi won’t develop new engines, but Ford has gone further with the goal that all of its European cars will be electric vehicles by 2030. Will Audi make a similar announcement?

“No, my official announcement is that the last combustion cars we make will be the best of their kind we’ve ever made. It is too early to tell us a definitive date, given the disparate requirements of our many markets. But we are in the process of reviewing the whole Audi strategy, and it will certainly be a talking point for us.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-13 23:01:24