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William Maley

September 2016: Audi of America, Inc.

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Audi sets new September record on SUV, A4 demand, as record sales hit 69th month

October 03, 2016 | HERNDON, Virginia

  • Demand for Q3 SUV increased 70 percent; Q7 28 percent
  • A4 sedan sales increased 43 percent for the month
  • North American manufacturing facility opens to produce best-selling Q5

Audi sales for September increased 1.6 percent to 17,617 vehicles, the brand’s best sales for the month in its U.S. history, surpassing the previous record of 17,340 vehicles set last year. The Q3, Q7 and A4 led the volume gains.

September 2016 marks the 69th month of record sales for Audi of America. Year-to-date sales have risen 3.2 percent to 152,179.

Sales of Audi SUV models remained steady with a 1.6 percent increase over last September and an 18 percent increase year-to-date. The Q3 posted sales of 1,919 vehicles for the month, marking the second-best sales month on record for the model and a 70 percent increase over last September. Q7 sales rose 28 percent to 2,475 vehicles and 52 percent year-to-date.

Audi opened its first North American manufacturing facility Sept. 30, dedicated to producing the new version of the Q5 SUV, which debuted the day before at the Paris Motor Show. The factory gives AUDI AG a third global pillar, after Europe and China, to continue its profitable growth.

“With an all-new Q5 and state-of-the-art factory in our region, Audi will be able to build on the massive success of the model’s first generation and better serve our U.S. customers and dealers, cutting delivery times in half,” said Mark Del Rosso, chief operating officer, Audi of America.

September results were also bolstered by solid demand for the new A4, countering a trend in the overall U.S. market away from sedans. The A4 sedan posted sales of 3,175 vehicles, a 43 percent increase for the month and a 15 percent increase year-to-date.

AUDI US SNAPSHOT

--MTD--

--YTD--

Model Line

Sep '16 Actual

Sep '15 Actual

Yr/Yr % change

Sep '16 YTD  Actual

Sep '15 YTD Actual

Yr/Yr % change

A3

2,209

2,712

-18.5%

24,863

26,972

-7.8%

A4

3,175

2,221

43.0%

23,671

20,527

15.3%

A5

746

945

-21.1%

6,672

9,812

-32.0%

A6

1,599

1,713

-6.7%

13,709

17,072

-19.7%

A7

541

626

-13.6%

4,588

5,508

-16.7%

A8

335

441

-24.0%

2,951

3,817

-22.7%

allroad

282

261

8.0%

1,406

2,003

-29.8%

Q5

3,957

5,149

-23.2%

35,195

36,566

-3.7%

Q7

2,475

1,941

27.5%

21,885

14,421

51.8%

Q3

1,919

1,130

69.8%

14,444

9,732

48.4%

R8

84

14

500.0%

530

453

17.0%

TT

295

187

57.8%

2,265

520

335.6%

Total Audi Sales

17,617

17,340

1.6%

152,179

147,403

3.2%

Total CPO Sales

3,531

3,923

-10.0%

34,529

36,767

-6.1%

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    • By William Maley
      The Audi A7 hasn't changed much since it was launched back in 2012. Apparently, Audi went with the 'if ain't broke, why fix it' mantra. But that changes today as the German automaker unveiled the second-generation A7 in Germany tonight.
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      The new Audi A7 Sportback: Sporty face of Audi in the luxury class
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    • By William Maley
      The Audi A7 hasn't changed much since it was launched back in 2012. Apparently, Audi went with the 'if ain't broke, why fix it' mantra. But that changes today as the German automaker unveiled the second-generation A7 in Germany tonight.
      Audi didn't mess with the A7's silhouette which was one of the key items that made it. What has changed is the treatment for the front and rear. The front is similar the A8 with a wider front grille and sculpted hood. A full-length taillight and retractable spoiler make up the rear. The 2019 A7 is slightly shorter than the current model in overall length (about 0.6-inches).
      The interior is where the major changes have taken place. There is a lot of influence from the A8 with the dual-screen MMI infotainment system and modern design for the dash. Audi will offer seating arrangements for four or five people.
      At launch, the A7 will come with a turbocharged 3.0L V6 featuring 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Like the A8, the A7 will feature a mild-hybrid capability through a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and an upgraded alternator. A variety of gas and diesel engine options will follow. Expect to see the 3.0L and possibly a four-cylinder option arrive our on shores first, with high-performance variants to follow.
      Technology features for the A7 include a rear-wheel steering system, lane-centering assist, AI Remote Parking Pilot, AI Remote Garage Pilot, and adaptive cruise control.
      The A7 goes on sale in Germany in February, while the U.S. has to wait till late next year or early 2019.
      Source: Audi
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The new Audi A7 Sportback: Sporty face of Audi in the luxury class
      Four-door coupe embodies progressiveness in design and technology All-digital control system, comprehensive connectivity and mild hybrid technology Gran Turismo with enhanced handling and more long-distance comfort The A7 Sportback represents the new Audi design language to a great extent and delivers on the design promise made by the prologue studies. The four-door coupe sets standards in the luxury class when it comes to progressiveness. It embodies a new style of Gran Turismo, with dynamic lines, systematic digitalization, a sporty driving experience and a versatile space concept.
      Consumption figures for the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI quattro S tronic: 
      Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.2 – 6.8* (32.7 – 34.6 US mpg)
      Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 163 – 154* (262.3 – 247.8 g/mi)
      *Figures depend on the wheel/tire sets used
      Dynamics at their most beautiful: the exterior design
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      Up front, the Singleframe grille – wider and lower than that of the Audi A8 – the narrow headlights, the boldly contoured air inlets and the flat front end convey at a glance the sportiness of the Gran Turismo. The headlights are available in three versions. With the middle and top equipment lines, the light signature takes up the subject of digitalization: 12 adjacent lighting segments separated by narrow intervening spaces evoke associations with the binary digits 0 and 1. The top version is the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light.
      The Audi A7 Sportback is an athletic sculpture with a long engine hood, long wheelbase and short overhangs. Pronounced contours emphasize the wheels, which measure up to 21 inches in diameter, and reference Audi’s quattro genes. These genes determine the proportions of the vehicle’s body. The silhouette is defined by the dynamic roofline, which drops sharply toward the rear. Four figures delineate the sporty character of the large coupe: It is 4,969 millimeters (16.3 ft) long, has a wheelbase of 2,926 millimeters (9.6 ft) and is 1,908 millimeters (6.3 ft) wide, but stands only 1,422 millimeters (4.7 ft) high.
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      Show car design comes to production: the interior
      The interior fuses design and technology in a unique way. The interior of the new Audi A7 Sportback dazzles with its futuristic lounge atmosphere. Its reduced, clean design language is based in a one-of-a-kind balance of tension and coolness. The horizontal lines and sleek instrument panel provide for a feeling of airy spaciousness. The center console is oriented toward the driver, underscoring the Gran Turismo’s sporty character. Four key values characterize the interior concept: progressiveness, sportiness, intuitiveness and sophistication. All colors, upholstery materials and inlays underscore the new aesthetic, from the base version to the design selection, the S line sport package and the particularly sophisticated Valcona leather. The optional contour ambient lighting package traces the contours and subtly highlights the space.
      The 10.1-inch upper display (in combination with MMI navigation plus) is tilted toward the driver. With its black panel optics and framed in a graphite gray aluminum clasp, it almost disappears into the dashboard when switched off. The body supporting the clasp is itself a geometric sculpture. The display’s user interface appears as soon as the car is opened. In keeping with the interior design, the look is reduced and succinct. All screen content can be quickly registered.
      Control at your fingertips: MMI touch response control system and online voice control
      The new Audi A7 systematically continues the digitalization strategy of the A8. The interior architecture melds seamlessly with Audi’s new MMI touch response operating concept. It replaces the rotary pushbutton and the conventional buttons and controls of the previous model with two large, high-resolution touch displays.
      The driver controls the infotainment system from the upper display. Mounted on the asymmetric console of the center tunnel, the 8.6-inch lower display provides access to the climate control system, comfort functions and text input. Drivers can rest their wrist on the automatic transmission’s wide selector lever knob.
      Audi offers an optional head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield. MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display.
      The MMI touch response operating concept features haptic and acoustic feedback and is as intuitive to use as a smartphone. Users hear and feel a click as confirmation when their finger triggers a function. With its logical and flat menu structure, the system allows fast access to the various vehicle functions, and it can also be personalized thanks to configurable and movable favorites buttons.
      The optional voice control in the new A7 Sportback makes operation even more convenient. With MMI navigation plus, the natural speech dialogue system processes questions and commands in two ways – with information stored onboard and at the same time with detailed knowledge from the cloud.
      Fully connected for more convenience and safety: infotainment and connect features
      With its comprehensive connectivity, the Audi A7 is perfectly equipped for long-distance touring. It offers customers more convenience, safety and customization options. The Gran Turismo features the same infotainment and connectivity range as the Audi A8. Up to seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual user profiles. As many as 400 parameters can be personalized. The online services from Audi connect have been expanded. Additions include the traffic sign and hazard information Car-to-X services, which utilize the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
      The new A7 Sportback comes standard with the MMI radio; MMI navigation and MMI navigation plus are available as options. There is a choice of four sound systems. The top version, the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, also delivers fascinating 3D sound to the rear seats.
      Intelligent and convenient: the Audi AI systems 
      With the AI button, the driver activates the Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot, which will be made available at some point in 2018. They autonomously maneuver the A7 Sportback into and out of a parking space or garage. The driver can get out of the car before launching the function via the myAudi app on their smartphone. To monitor the maneuver, the driver presses and holds the Audi AI button the entire time. The central driver assistance controller (zFAS) merges the data from a sophisticated set of sensors to continually compute an image of the surroundings. Depending on the equipment level, there can be as many as five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner.
      Besides the Audi AI systems, the new A7 Sportback features a total of 39 driver assistance systems to make things easier for the driver. They are split up into three packages: the Audi AI parking package (gradual introduction beginning 2018), the City assist package with the new crossing assist, and the Tour assist package. The latter includes such things as the efficiency assistant, which facilitates a driving style conducive to reducing consumption, and the adaptive driving assistant (ADA), which supplements the adaptive cruise control (ACC) with helpful steering interventions to maintain the lane. All driver assistance systems feature improved control mechanisms.
      Handling and long-distance comfort: the chassis
      The new A7 further extends its synthesis of sportiness and comfort. The optional dynamic-all-wheel steering, the new electronic chassis program (ECP) – the central controller for the chassis – and the updated air suspension make it even more agile, nimble and comfortable. The A7 is thus the perfect Gran Turismo: dynamic and agile on twisty country roads, yet comfortable on long highway stretches.
      Many aspects of the front and rear axles have been developed from scratch. The standard progressive steering, whose generally sporty ratio becomes even more direct the further the steering wheel is turned, features a new concept for intensive road feedback. Mounted behind large wheels – up to 21 inches and 255/35 – with improved rolling comfort are aluminum fixed-caliper brakes with discs up to 400 millimeters (15.7 in) in diameter. Customers can choose between four suspension setups: a conventional steel spring suspension, the sport suspension that lowers ride height by 10 millimeters (0.4 in), electronically controlled damping and the self-leveling adaptive air suspension.
      The top chassis-related innovation is dynamic-all-wheel steering. It combines direct, sporty steering response with unshakable stability, resolving the conflict of aims between agility and comfort. The steering ratio varies as a function of speed between 9.5:1 and 16.5:1 by means of active steering interventions at the front and rear axle. At the front axle, strain wave gearing is used to superimpose these in response to the driver’s steering input. At the rear axle, a spindle drive turns the wheels by as much as 5 degrees. At low speed, they steer counter to the front wheels to further increase the agility of the big coupe when parking or driving in urban traffic, for example. This reduces the turning circle at full lock by 1.1 meters (3.6 ft). At 60 km/h (37.3 mph) and above, the rear axle steers in the same direction to increase straight-line stability and facilitate lane changes.
      The optional sport differential improves handing even further. It actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, complementing quattro all-wheel drive. Like dynamic-all-wheel steering, controlled damping and the adaptive air suspension, the sport differential is integrated into the control function of the electronic chassis platform (ECP). These systems are closely networked for maximum precision. The driver can use the Audi drive select system to activate different ride profiles featuring a more pronounced difference between comfort and sportiness than in the previous model.
      Broad-based electrification: mild hybrid system for greater comfort and efficiency
      All engines used in the A7 Sportback come standard with a new mild hybrid system (MHEV) for greater comfort and efficiency. With the two V6 engines, this uses a 48-volt primary electrical system. A belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery and achieves a recuperation performance of up to 12 kW when braking. At speeds between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 – 99.4 mph), the four-door coupe can coast in freewheeling mode with the engine deactivated and then restarted comfortably via the BAS.
      The start-stop function has been significantly expanded and now activates at 22 km/h (13.7 mph). In combination with the standard front camera, the engine is restarted predictively while at a standstill as soon as vehicle ahead begins to move. In real-world driving, the MHEV technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers.
      The new Audi A7 Sportback will initially launch with the 3.0 V6 TFSI. The sonorously understated V6 turbo produces 250 kW (340 hp) and 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft). The four-door coupe sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). In the NEDC, the base version of the Audi A7 55 TFSI consumes 6.8 liters of fuel (34.6 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 154 grams (247.8 g/mi). The 3.0 TFSI is paired with a seven-speed S tronic. Its quattro drivetrain uses the efficient ultra technology that activates rear-wheel drive as needed. Additional six- and four-cylinder engines, both gasoline and diesel, will follow shortly after the start of production.
      The body concept: Coupé, Sedan and Avant in one
      The A7 Sportback combines the best of all worlds and is a dynamic all-around talent for business and recreation. It offers the design of a Coupé, the spaciousness of a Sedan and the variability of an Avant. The interior concept of the A7 Sportback impresses with more space and more comfortable seating – and that despite having a dynamic roofline. Compared with the previous model, interior length has increased 21 millimeters (0.8 in), resulting in more rear knee room. Rear passengers also enjoy more head room. The loading width has also increased compared with the previous model and now measures 1,050 millimeters (3.4 ft).
      Topping the range of all-new seats are the multi-adjustable, customized contour front seats with ventilation and massage. The configuration with individual rear seats (alternative: 2+1 bench) offers a plenty of space and comfort. New high-tech options make life with the Audi A7 Sportback even more comfortable and convenient. The air quality package improves interior air quality by means of fragrancing with subtle scents, an ionizer and an effective combination filter.
      The body, which features steel and aluminum composite construction with large components such as add-on parts made of aluminum, is a key factor in the improved handling and greater comfort. The four-door coupe scores top marks with respect to body stiffness, aeroacoustics and aerodynamics. The Gran Turismo spoils its passengers with improved acoustic comfort and – thanks to sophisticated aerodynamics – minimal wind noise.
      The improved panoramic glass sunroof with particularly large glass elements lets more light into the cabin. The heated windshield and wipers with integrated nozzles are additional options for more convenience.
      Despite the markedly dynamic lines, the luggage compartment has a base capacity of 535 liters (18.9 cu ft). This increases to 1,390 liters (49.1 cu ft) with the rear seats folded down. The luggage compartment has been optimized so that two golf bags now fit horizontally – in addition to the optional spare tire. The optional sensor-controlled rear hatch opens and closes automatically in response to a foot motion.
      The new Audi A7 Sportback rolls off the assembly line at the Neckarsulm site and will launch on the German market in late February 2018. The base price for the 55 TFSI quattro S tronic is 67,800 euros. 

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      As if the Volkswagen Group needed more headaches, a new report says there's a bit of infighting between Audi and Porsche.
      German tabloid Bild reports that Porsche is seeking 200 million Euros (about $234 million) from Audi to cover costs from the diesel emission scandal. Reportedly, Porsche management delivered this claim in a letter to their counterparts at Audi. Bild doesn't mention any source, so take this report with a fair amount of salt.
      When reached for comment by Reuters, a Porsche spokesman said internal issues were not open for public discussion. An Audi spokesperson declined to comment.
      This dispute stems from Audi admitting back in November 2015 that its 3.0L TDI V6 was fitted with a defeat device. One of those models using the V6 was the Porsche Cayenne.
      Source: Bild, Reuters

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      As if the Volkswagen Group needed more headaches, a new report says there's a bit of infighting between Audi and Porsche.
      German tabloid Bild reports that Porsche is seeking 200 million Euros (about $234 million) from Audi to cover costs from the diesel emission scandal. Reportedly, Porsche management delivered this claim in a letter to their counterparts at Audi. Bild doesn't mention any source, so take this report with a fair amount of salt.
      When reached for comment by Reuters, a Porsche spokesman said internal issues were not open for public discussion. An Audi spokesperson declined to comment.
      This dispute stems from Audi admitting back in November 2015 that its 3.0L TDI V6 was fitted with a defeat device. One of those models using the V6 was the Porsche Cayenne.
      Source: Bild, Reuters
    • By William Maley
      Japan is a notorious market for American automakers to make a dent in. Ford called it quits last year, while GM sells a meager number of models; Cadillac sold 327 and Chevrolet moved 373 models last year. Critics say "nontariff barriers" are the key reason as to why Detroit hasn't been able to make any headway. Talk with people in Japan and it is a different story, there is still a perception of American models having poor quality and having to fork out a fair amount of cash to keep them maintained.
      But there is an exception. Jeep has been able to carve out a nice niche in Japan's marketplace. The brand is consistently in the top 10 of foreign automakers and sales have been climbing. 2017 is on track to be the eighth consecutive year of sales growth in the country. Through August, Jeep moved 6,344 models.
      But getting to this point took a lot of work and money.
      "We have to spend money and engineering hours to do it, but we think it's worth it," said FCA Japan CEO Pontus Haggstrom to Automotive News.
      "They are things that make our jobs harder and make it more expensive and time consuming to bring cars to Japan. But are they trade barriers? My honest opinion is, no. Are they excuses for why I can't sell or succeed in Japan? No."
      Jeep has been making efforts to make their models more appealing to Japanese customers.
      Tweaking drivetrains to qualify for Japan's eco-car incentives Offering right-hand drive models Equipping models with folding side mirrors and factory-installed Japanese navigation systems. Doubling their marketing budget since 2010 Refurbishing or redesigning more than 50 showrooms by 2018 The last one is important as previous Jeep dealers in the country were basically what you find in dealers in the U.S.
      "It's more about the brand and less about the origin," says Haggstrom.
      Jeep also has an ace up its sleeve that many automakers wished they had, brand equity.
      "The image of American cars as low-quality still persists here, even though a bit underserved. But Jeep has the most brand equity of any American brand. Japan shows it has a global following," said Christopher Richter, an auto analyst with CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in Tokyo.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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