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    Audi Looks Into Other Ways To Sell EVs


    • How do you sell electric vehicles to consumers? Audi is looking into how.

    Audi believes that the future of the brand will rest on electric vehicles. In fact, the German automaker wants to have 25 percent of vehicles sold to be electric. Now this goal is way down the line, but Audi is beginning to make this a reality with a number of electric vehicles going into development. They are also tackling how they will sell them.

     

    A recent piece in the New York Times said that dealerships were a stumbling block when selling electric vehicles either because they didn't know anything about them or pushed buyers into buying a gas-powered vehicle. Tesla is the only automaker that no problem with selling their models, but that is due to their decision of opening their own stores.

     

    Autoblog had the chance to speak with executives from Audi of America about how they plan to sell EVs. First up is Filip Brabec, Audi of America's director of product management. He explained that EVs may need a new experience at dealers.

     

    "A lot of it has to do with the complexity of the product and the complexity of the offer and it's difficult, I think, to bring that into a classical dealership and sort of treat is as another car and off we go. I think there needs to be some differences in how we go in the future," said Brabec.

     

    Another key point is to get consumers into those vehicles.

     

    "I think exposing consumers to EVs, letting them experience EVs is another big aspect, and probably different than we have today, because test driving a car today is a very conventional thing. It's probably not going to be as conventional with EVs, particularly if you've never been in one before."

     

    Second was Audi of America's president Scott Keogh who explained that Tesla showed everyone that providing a complete experience was a very smart move. But Keogh believes that Audi could do a much better job than Tesla when they start building their own EVs.

     

    Source: Autoblog, New York Times

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      The perfect balance of performance and functionality, all-new 2018 Audi SQ5 makes world debut at NAIAS
       
       
       
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      Previous Page Next Page Coming for Spring 2017, Audi took the covers off the updated SQ5 for the 2018 model year.  The primary changes are a more powerful 3.0T engine producing 354 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, enabling the SQ5 to get to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. 
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      Audi Press Release on Page 2
       
      The perfect balance of performance and functionality, all-new 2018 Audi SQ5 makes world debut at NAIAS
       
       
       
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      Building the Future
      To support the new era of vehicles, Ford is adding 700 direct new U.S. jobs and investing $700 million during the next four years, creating the new Manufacturing Innovation Center at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Employees there will build the all-new small utility vehicle with extended battery range as well as the fully autonomous vehicle for ride-hailing or ride-sharing – along with the iconic Mustang and Lincoln Continental.
      “I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The men and women of Flat Rock Assembly have shown a great commitment to manufacturing quality products, and we look forward to their continued success with a new generation of high-tech vehicles.”
      This incremental investment in Flat Rock Assembly Plant comes from $1.6 billion the company previously had planned to invest in a new plant in Mexico.
      Ford today announced it is cancelling plans for the new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It also announced that, to improve company profitability and ensure the financial as well as commercial success of this vehicle, the next-generation Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. This will make way for two new iconic products at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, where Focus is manufactured today – safeguarding approximately 3,500 U.S. jobs.
      Unique ElectrificationTechnology
      Building on two decades of experience, Ford is applying lessons learned to deliver patented technology, software and services to appeal to truck customers, SUV owners, performance enthusiasts, high-volume commercial fleets and everyone in between.
      “Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we’re focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy.”
      This year, Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology. In Europe, Ford will put the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid on the road later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions.
      In addition, in New York and several major U.S. cities, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions.
      These Transit Connects build on the success of the world’s first hybrid taxi – the Ford Escape Hybrid – which also was the world’s first hybrid SUV and the first North American-built hybrid. Many Escape Hybrid taxis are still on the road, moving passengers for more than 350,000 miles each and still using their original batteries.
      Today, Ford is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall U.S. electrified vehicle sales.
      New Services
      Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with.
      “Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”
      Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points. 
      Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the U.S. and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass® also can help consumers reserve charging times.
      Understanding customers
      Ford has been extensively studying how past and current EV owners use their vehicles. The company has sold more than 520,000 electrified vehicles in North America since 2005 and 560,000 globally.
      In studying 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned:
      88 percent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making gas station trips rare Customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology 80 percent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 percent during evenings Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights An overwhelming majority of Ford EV owners expect to replace their current EV with a new one, additional Ford research shows. Specifically:
      92 percent of battery electric car customers say they will purchase another battery electric vehicle as their next purchase 87 percent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle
    • By William Maley
      Audi is the latest automaker to tease their reveal for Detroit Auto Show. This is the Q8 Concept which will be going into production in the next few years as the brand's flagship SUV. 
      Up front is a large, octagonal grille and narrow headlights. The side profile features a coupelike roofline and bulging fenders. Audi says the design is reminiscent of the famed ur-quattro coupe from the 80's. We can see some of it in the side, but not in other areas.
      “With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige. What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line,” said Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte in a statement.
      Source: Audi
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Audi Q8 concept car to be revealed at the 2017 North American International Auto Show - Featuring the next generation of Audi SUV design language
      December 22, 2016 | INGOLSTADT/DETROIT
      Study unlocks new segment for the full-size SUV category Spaciousness of an SUV with elegance of a coup Distinctive front end, with design echoes of the Ur-quattro Audi will start the new year with a sensation: At the January 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the brand will debut the Q8 concept. The study represents a synthesis of the emotional styling of a coup and the spaciousness that typifies an SUV. With this move, the brand is unlocking a new segment for the full-size category.
      “With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige,” said Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte. “What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.”
      The concept’s front end is imposing. The octagonal Singleframe is considerably wider than that in Audi’s current production Q models. Enhancing the forward positioned stance, is dynamic three-dimensional sculpting. Many design elements of the Q8 concept are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro of the 1980s. They include the extremely flat but very wide C-post and the prominent, flared shoulders above the wheels. These balanced proportions give equal emphasis to the front and rear wheels – typically quattro.
      More information on this exciting new concept will release during the NAIAS Audi press conference, January 9, 2017 at 8 a.m. EST.

      View full article
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