In Europe, premium sub-compact cars are actually quite popular. Due to narrower and more congested city streets, people flock to sub-compact cars to reduce the difficulty of daily driving. However, some people who work in cramped cities are able to afford a more premium car and want to do so. So these premium sub-compacts allow these people to have their cake and eat it, too. It’s a perfect setup and the Audi A1 sells quite well in the European market because of it. But would it sell here?
It’s no secret that the US market gets the short end of the stick, when it comes to getting some of Audi’s best cars. All Audi Avants, the RS6 and the RS3 Sportback are all Audis that should be sold here, but aren’t. This isn’t really Audi’s fault, as an idiotic majority customer base and antiquated safety and emissions regulations prevent such cars here. But the A1 could possibly be sold here.
Built on the same platform as the VW Polo, it’s possible that the Audi A1 could sell here while passing regulations. However, it’s less likely that Americans would want to buy it. The Audi A1 is extremely small and, while MINI is having a bit of a revival and the Volkswagen Golf is selling quite well, it’s not likely that Americans would want to buy it. I also don’t think that Audi would want to sell it here either.
Audi has worked very hard to make the Audi brand name as synonymous with luxury as the BMW and Mercedes-Benz nameplates are. It doesn’t want all of that hard work and marketing to go to waste, as the Audi’s brand image would likely diminish to the SUV and V8 loving American market. So despite the fact that the Audi A1 would be the perfect car for the American market, as it would allow us to have a premium car without hurting our already ailing environment and wallets, it’s not likely to happen and it’s mostly our fault.