Audi says there is potential at the small end of the car market, and aims to exploit it with the Q1 SUV
Audi is likely to wait at least a decade before launching a car smaller than the Audi A1, according to marketing boss Luce De Meo.
Although the A1 has been a huge sales success, accounting for than 120,000 sales in 2013, 80 per cent were from buyers switching from a rival brand, De Meo cautioned that Audi must test the market carefully.
Speaking to Autocar at the Detroit motor show, he said: "The A1 faced a lot of scepticism when it was launched". "But now it is a good seller - almost 10 per cent of our overall sales, and the highest average transaction price in the sector. It's done well.
"We know there is potential at the lower end of the spectrum - and we will go there with the Audi Q1 SUV - but I think we need to give the A1 another lap to establish itself before we push lower. It is after the second or third generation that a car can really be judged."
Audi's technical chief Ulrich Hackeneberg said: "I can imagine a market in the future for a model smaller than the A1".
“Customers buy small cars so there is a market for them, and within that market there will be those who want luxury.”
Hackenberg said that an Audi based on the VW Up’s New Small Family platform was possible, with an electric version of particular interest. “It’s a possibility for the future,” he said.
The Audi A2 is “still a concept that is very interesting”, Hackenberg also revealed, one that “we keep in mind for the future”.
But Audi has no plans to do a standalone electric model as BMW has done with the i3, instead choosing to introduce the technology on its existing models.