Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
#4157 of 10348 My thoughts on Audi's US sales problem
Oct 07, 2005 (1:59 pm)
Just based on people I've known recently with Audi's, and what I've seen in CR and on the PA\NJ lemon law website, I think a large part of Audi's problem is bad reliability combined with bad dealer service, not some acceleration problem from 20 years ago that no one remembers, along with a general resistance to making cars designed for Americans. Can anyone tell me what Audi's current return customer rate is? I'm pretty sure Lexus is over 90%. People that I've known with Audi's, particularly with last gen A6s, have told me the would not buy another. They didnt make the kinds of headlines that M-B is currently making, but I think '98-'00 A6s were just as bad as anything M-B has done in the last few years. A4s and A8s werent much better. A6s were recalled 3 times to fix the same ignition coil problem.
The ML320 was actually around before the RX300, and when BMW saw what was happening, the jumped on the bandwagon in '00 with the X5, followed by Acura and Volvo. What was Audi's response? An A6 Avant with some body cladding and an adjustable suspension. If you walked in to a showroom today, pretty much the only luxury brands you cannot buy an SUV from are Audi and Jaguar. They are responding to a 1998 phenominon in 2006. American's wanted more, larger cupholders (and NOT in the dashboard) for years, and Audi always stonewalled, saying "its not a German thing". Well, this isnt Germany. I think its taken Audi way too long to figure that out.
#4158 of 10348 RE: Eye of the beholder seems to be part of the issue. . . [mg808]
Oct 07, 2005 (2:54 pm)
Nice decision to purchase the RL...I know you must have agonized over that decision...in the end what was the bottom line that closed the deal for you? Was it really only the price tag?
#4159 of 10348 Re: My thoughts on Audi's US sales problem [lexusguy]
Oct 07, 2005 (3:02 pm)
after reading all about the differences of opinion on this forum you get my vote for cutting through all the BS. AS USUAL.
#4160 of 10348 Re: Eye of the beholder seems to be part of the issue. . . [rich545]
Oct 07, 2005 (3:09 pm)
Absolutely! My neigbor in his 996 Turbo sure is NOT going to get to work faster in Atlanta AM traffic than I can in my e39! Rarely are these cars pushed to the limit in 99% of the real world conditions we live in.
That said, on the race track, mere seconds can separate who stands on the podium and who goes home. Sometimes, performance can be measured in minute increments of total balance, not just hard 0-60 times. All of these cars have a variety of strengths that appeal to their buyers... personally, I can justify why I bought a 2003 530SP and continue to enjoy it more today than on day 1.
Sometimes, these discussions sound like art critics sitting around extolling the virtues of their favorite artists and respective styles. Is Picasso really "better" than Gauguin? Monet better than Rembrandt?...
All I can say is this... I'll take my little BMW and go up against any other LPS in its class on Road Atlanta for a 100 mile race and like my chances! The fact that I have a terrific driving experience (for me, anyway) around town is just icing on the cake. BTW, I have spent a fair amount of time in Germany - drove the e60 in the Black Forest region out of Karlsruhe prior to the US introduction. Left me kinda cool at 1st, but as I've driven them here, have warmed up to them, especially the new 530 and 545/550.
My German friends have told me I have the very car they would want to own if given an option, but that is a small sampling. Still not ready to part with my immaculate '03 530SP, but when the time comes, not sure that my personal tastes will lead me into an Audi showroom for anything but the A8! Agree that it is a shame that more luxury buyers have not found themselves in A8's. BMW, to their credit, builds the best-balanced performing line of cars top to bottom - IMHO.
#4161 of 10348 Re: Eye of the beholder seems to be part of the issue. . . [lovemyclk]
Oct 07, 2005 (3:32 pm)
The A8 just has no street credibility. Perhaps it should, but it doesnt. In the full size lux class, thats a serious problem. I think it may have a lot to do with the last A8, which was basically a super-size A4 that couldnt play in the big leagues. When I was in San Remo and Monaco, there were A4s all over the place (I was in one) but A6s were fewer than Es and 5s, and A8s were non existant.
#4162 of 10348 Re: Eye of the beholder seems to be part of the issue. . . [lovemyclk]
Oct 07, 2005 (3:49 pm)
#4163 of 10348 Re: Eye of the beholder seems to be part of the issue. . . [lexusguy]
Oct 07, 2005 (3:52 pm)
I hate it when you do that.
The SUV thing is dead on of course, no matter how much it galls me to admit it. I personally hate the damn things, even the car-based ones. I spent some forced time in an RX330, and I will never, ever understand why someone would want to drive that or an X5 or an XC-90 or any of 'em daily. You can't get much more detached from the driving experience than that.
But of course your point is correct.
Also on the A8. As much as I may think of it as the cream of the current crop in that class, it remains kind of an unknown, and past history is very likely why.
You good fer nuthin' so and so...
#4164 of 10348 Re: My thoughts on Audi's US sales problem [lexusguy]
Oct 07, 2005 (5:50 pm)
If you walked in to a showroom today, pretty much the only luxury brands you cannot buy an SUV from are Audi and Jaguar.
Audi's lack of a SUV during the 90s and early 00s was not the best in terms of timing!
Even worse is Audi's timing of introducing a soon-to-be Q7 SUV!. Latest stats show that every manufacturer suffered a decline in SUV sales except Land Rover(compliments to the LR3).
The Q7 will share its platform with the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, two models which faced 50% and 26% Sept declines, respectfully, from last year!
So what is the US sales that Audi is predicting for the new Q7 SUV. Accoring to Wall Street Journal dated October 7th:
Audi is hoping that the Q7 will eventually be Audi's biggest-selling vehicle, surpassing its current best seller, the A4 sedan, which had more than 38,000 in sales in 2004.
All I can say is Viele Glueck (Good Luck) for Audi!
I think a large part of Audi's problem is bad reliability combined with bad dealer service
Audi seems quite aware about N. American quality/service perceptions. Audi's VP of Operations made the following comment recently:
Mr. de Nysschen says the push is to continue to focus on product quality, customer service and educating consumers about the Audi brand
Deeds speak louder than words. Only time will tell if Audi succeeds.
#4165 of 10348 Re: Eye of the beholder seems to be part of the issue. . . [wale_bate1]
Oct 07, 2005 (6:13 pm)
I personally hate the damn things, even the car-based ones.
I share your view.
In fact our views on SUVs may become mainstream if gas prices continue going up like a one-way elevator.
If gas prices get too high my priorities may change from a performance luxury sport wagon to a Toyota Echo .
#4166 of 10348 Re: Eye of the beholder seems to be part of the issue. . . [dewey]
Oct 07, 2005 (11:00 pm)
"If gas prices get too high my priorities may change from a performance luxury sport wagon to a Toyota Echo"
"That reminds me of my friend. He went to a dealer the other day and said, "I'd like a gas cap for my ECHO." The dealer replied, "Okay. Sounds like a fair trade."