Audi Plans SUV Strategy to Outdo Rival BMW

Bloomberg News - February 20, 2013

IHS Auto­mo­tive in Frank­furt says Audi is the first automak­er with a grand plan to mir­ror its car offer­ings with cor­re­spond­ing SUVs.

Find out what Audi has in mind to nar­row BMW’s sales lead.

The Volk­swa­gen AG unit is devel­op­ing the Q2, Q4 and Q6 as a sporti­er alter­na­tive to its cur­rent range of three SUVs, accord­ing to a per­son famil­iar with the strat­e­gy, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied because the plans aren’t pub­lic.

Audi expects the new offer­ings, along with per­for­mance ver­sions of its exist­ing mod­els such as the SQ5, to boost SUVs to about 40 per­cent of the brand’s sales from about 25 per­cent in 2012, the per­son said. The automak­er is pre­sent­ing a sporti­er S ver­sion of the Q3 next month in Gene­va, it said today in a state­ment.

Automak­ers have moved to dilute con­cerns about the gas- guz­zling image of SUVs by adding hybrid ver­sions and clean­er engines. The Audi Q5 gets about 23 miles per gal­lon, com­pared with 24 miles per gal­lon for the sim­i­lar-sized A4 sedan.

The VW unit will reduce the weight of the next gen­er­a­tion of the Q7 SUV by as much as 400 kilo­grams (882 pounds) — or about 15 per­cent — next year to improve fuel effi­cien­cy from the cur­rent 18 miles per gal­lon, the per­son said.

 

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