More and more car companies are shrinking their sedan offerings in favor of crossovers and SUVs. This is due to nothing more than customers preferring crossovers over sedans for their added size and practicality. Ford recently announced that it will be ending all of its sedan, coupe and hatchback offerings (with the exception of the Mustang) within the next year or so and will only sell crossovers and SUVs. However, Audi will not be killing off its sedan offerings, as the four-ringed brand still sees a future in them.
While speaking with Autoblog recently, Audi’s sales and marketing boss Hildegard Wortmann said “My impression is that there’s a little bit of a renaissance in certain parts of the world more than others,” about sedans.
Wortmann pointed to the resurgence of Audi A6 sales in North America, which jumped up 69-percent in 2019. That’s largely due to the newer model debuting and replacing a stagnant old one but it does show that there’s still customer demand for a sedan if it’s new enough and high-tech enough. The Audi A8 also saw a big sales jump in 2019. So luxury sedans still have merit.
However, she does see a massive drop in coupes and convertibles and admits that those cars don’t have to be in Audi’s future. Instead, she feels that the body style of a sports car is irrelevant, it’s emotion that matters most. “I don’t think customers say, ‘I want a coupe or a convertible.’ They see a desirable design, and they say ‘I want one of those.'” she said. Wortmann certainly isn’t wrong, as the four-door Audi S5 Sportback is arguably more desirable than the Coupe, for example.
That said, Wortmann isn’t ready to completely give coupes the axe, as they still offer an emotional experience that customers enjoy. “Coupes and convertibles are highly emotional cars, so they will always have their right of existence,” she said.
She also makes a very interesting point, suggesting that emotional and exciting products sometimes outweigh analytics. “If we had announced, ‘We’re launching an Avant in the United States,’ everyone would have called us crazy. I’ve heard we can’t sell those in the United States, but then we bring the RS 6 and everyone goes crazy.” So maybe sedans do still have a place in the market and car companies just need to make them more interesting and exciting.
Whatever the case, we’re glad Audi isn’t bailing on sedans and will continue to make interesting and exciting cars, rather than just selling out in the name of crossovers, like Ford.