Niches are everywhere in the German luxury car market, especially SUV niches. BMW has been one of the biggest pioneers in this area, creating segments with cars like the X6 and X4. Now, Mercedes-Benz is joining the party with the GLE Coupe, which competes with the BMW X6, and is in the process of creating a GLC Coupe, to compete with the BMW X4. Audi has announced its plans to make an electric Q6, a sort of electric BMW X6 fighter, based on the e-tron Quattro Concept. But should Audi create an SUV for battle with the X4 and GLC?
It’s no secret that SUV sales are at an all time high. Audi set record sales for the month of August and much of that had to do with Q5 and Q7 sales. Mercedes-Benz is noticing a lot of the same thing, as well. Sales of its GLE Class and GLC class are better than Benz had expected coming out of the gate and the brand from Stuttgart feels confident that a GLC will do equally as well. BMW sells more X6s than some brands sell cars, each year. And the new X4 has been a bigger success than people originally thought. So the market for such a vehicle is there.
An Audi Q4 would probably do better than BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the segment, as Audi doesn’t have an issue with brand image when making SUVs. BMW is known as being an enthusiast’s brand, making performance cars almost exclusively. So when cars like the X6 and X4 come out, fans often get upset at the brand straying away from what it’s famous for. This alienates a large part of BMW’s audience. Audi has been making quirky wagons and hatchbacks throughout its entire lifespan, so creating a fun, couple-like SUV isn’t something that would be so out of the ordinary.
Audi could very easily sell a sort of Q4 Coupe SUV that would bring some extra style and performance while sacrificing a bit of practicality. Fans would like it, customers would like it and it could possibly bring customers over from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, if it’s styling was better. Audi already has a Q3, Q5, Q6 (coming in 2018) and Q7, with the possibility of a Q1 coming soon. A Q4 is the only thing missing from its lineup and would round out Audi’s SUV portfolio, as it’s the only kind of SUV it doesn’t have that it’s competitors do.