We all know about the terrible Volkswagen diesel scandal that shocked the world, where the Wolfsburg-based brand cheated on diesel emissions by installing a “defeat-device” that would like to EPA testing when plugged into testing machines. The scandal effect hundreds of thousands of diesel cars the world over and has cost the VW Group hundreds of millions of dollars, and it could become even more than that. Customers are furious with VW, as it hurts to be lied to, and governments want VW’s head. But one thing being lost in all of this is the silver lining that Audi, a brand underneath the umbrella of the VW Group, is thriving.
Audi is recording record sales months and has been doing so consecutively since the summer. This past March marked a record first quarter for the Ingolstadt-based brand and it shows that customers still trust and love the Audi brand. And they should, because the sins of Volkswagen are not the sins of Audi and the latter shouldn’t be blamed for its parent company’s actions. Despite the scandal, Audi is developing some killer cars and breakthrough technology that will enhance the future of the automobile while also making it more enjoyable.
Audi attributes this success to a stable leadership and a clear and concise plan for the future. “We had a solid product and growth plan, with clear targets in place by 2008,” Said to President of Audi of America, Scott Keogh, according to Automobile Magazine. “We knew what product segments we wanted to fill, how we wanted to work with dealers to improve our facilities and customer experience, and maintain our very focused marketing strategy,” Keogh has been with Audi for ten years now, six as Chief Marketing Officer and four as President of Audi America. So his stable leadership has helped the Audi brand remain focused. Rupert Stadler, Audi CEO has been with the four-ringed brand since 2003, so it’s clear that Audi demands continuity and it’s creating success.
Audi is also developing a vast model portfolio that reaches each and every premium automotive segment. The Audi Q7 and Audi A4 are the first Audis to be built on the new MLB platform and it was wise to make it those two vehicles to spearhead Audi into a new age. The Q7 and A4 are Audi’s best-selling vehicles, so updating them first was a brilliant idea and the success they’re generating proves it. Those two vehicles are largely the reason why Audi is posting record high sales figures as of late.
Audi is also working hard on developing new alternative fuel technologies. The Audi A3 e-tron just recently debuted, marking the very first plug-in hybrid Audi, which couldn’t have come at a better time. The Audi e-tron Quattro Concept shocked the world in Frankfurt, by debuting an EV luxury SUV with a better range and charge time than anything else in the industry. Audi has also showed off hydrogen concepts and even natural gas-driven concepts. So the brand is clearly looking at alternative fuel as a crucial part of its model portfolio in the future and it shows that Audi wasn’t responsible for such a diesel scandal.
And it isn’t only alternative fuel, but efficient new technologies. Audi’s new engines run more efficiently than ever, with different cycles and cylinder deactivation to help save fuel and lower emissions. The brand’s new Quattro Ultra technology just recently debuted on the Audi Allroad, and will soon make its way to all non-performance vehicles, which also helps save fuel and lower emissions. All of this is combining to prove that Audi is on the cutting edge of automotive technology, whether that be in terms of performance, luxury or efficiency.
Despite the cloud of negativity surrounding the Volkswagen Group at the moment, Audi is the lone beacon of light shining through it all. If there is any silver lining to the terrible Volkswagen scandal, it’s that Audi has now been able to shine.