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Old 11th March 2019, 19:34   #16
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Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I think it's because Audi stopped doing their halo models, cars like the A4 3.0TDI Quattro, A6 3.0 with Quattro and nearly 300bhp for the petrol, Q7 V8 diesel and 3.0 litre Q5. I'm not saying these cars brought in the numbers, but they surely helped with the perception of the brand.

The new Q2/Q3 might get the numbers back, the Q7 is toast, although I admit I like the design. The long wheelbase E class has changed the game and Audi doesn't seem to have anything in their favor for the segment. The new GLE/S and X5/X7 will take the luxury SUV segment sales in the next few years.
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Old 11th March 2019, 20:12   #17
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Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Audi has lost the plot in the past few years simply because of their model lineup. The A3 didnt have much appeal, the new A4 wasn't revolutionary design and plus that 1.4 litre petrol engine was a downer. Would I buy that for Rs. 50 lakh plus or go with an Octavia VRS or a Superb for that matter? These are just examples.

The Q3, A6 and A8 are seriously outdated. While S Class and 7 Series have received facelifts, the old A8 still selling in India. Ditto for the A6. What are they waiting for? Launch both instead of giving us coffee maker A6 editions etc.

Additionally, they discontinued the 3.0 diesel from the A6. Why? Mercedes and BMW still offer models with a 6 cylinder diesel. That does take a small chunk of customers away if not much.

The A5 model range has pretty much been a damp squib and from what I see, Lamborghini is selling more Huracans than Audi is selling R8s.

Audi needs a model revamp and strategy rethink if they have to get into the fight again. Mercedes has taken the game way ahead with BMW right up there now. More than Jaguar Land Rover, I see Volvo gunning for Audi in the near future.
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Old 11th March 2019, 20:25   #18
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Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I'm only a window-shopper in the luxury car space, but suffices to say I haven't seen an Audi car on sale in India recently that triggers the 'I'd love to have one of those!' brainwave.

Merc, on the other hand, are making cars you could drool over all day. If snob value can be compromised on, Volvo cars are (personal opinion only) the best lookers in their segments, competent performers plus have the option to spice up with Polestar remaps on some models.
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Old 11th March 2019, 22:17   #19
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What a timely post. I was driving back home today and saw A4, A6, A8, Q3, Q5 and I was thinking to myself "God, even after so many years, they have done nothing for the looks and appeal". They all look like cars from 10 years ago. I wouldn't even dream of getting one if I was drunk crazy, that's how bad they look. And then I saw this Volvo drive past and wow, it was such a looker. Audi is history, they have seniors sitting higher up in AC rooms oblivious to the changing trend and customer needs, unwilling to change to the times and the demand. This will not be the first time we will see a pioneer go out of business, we have numerous examples of organizations that did not change with the time and they are nowhere to be seen but in history books.

Last edited by iFuel : 11th March 2019 at 22:19.
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:05   #20
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

The first point that comes to my mind when I hear the word "Audi", is boring design. Almost all of Audi's sedans and SUVs look alike and rather bland. Comparitively, BMWs, although not stunning, are far more interesting to look at. Mercedes on the other hand, have taken design to another level. JLR and Volvo may be marginal players, but their cars leave a lasting impression when one sees them.

Next, just look at the model line-ups. Audi's portfolio is nowhere close to the other Germans. Mercedes is offering a car in just about every segment. BMW's line-up is not as vast at Merc's, but still larger and a lot more appealing than Audi's. JLR (at least the LR bit) is adding something or the other to its line-up constantly and knowing how popular SUVs are in India, the ploy seems to be working.

Then comes the driving bit. BMW has kind of got this covered.

Finally, badge value. Mercedes and JLR (in my eyes) are a cut above the others. When it comes to Indians, Mercedes symbolises luxury in the sedan class. Similarly, a Range Rover (for all its reliability problems) does so for SUVs. Most Audis are the same cars as Skodas and VWs underneath.

Audi needs to do something out of the box here.

Last edited by Aditya : 12th March 2019 at 13:49.
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:05   #21
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Back in 2011, senior folks in Mercedes India acknowledged that Audi had licked them since they had no small SUV's and the cars lacked younger segment appeal. They have sorted that out!

Why are Audi struggling in my eyes - model-wise

A3 - I love it and it drives the best of the lot but lack of space and the Skoda Superb/ Passat pricing puts me off. The swanky styling of the Mercedes CLA + rear leg room (not headroom) give the CLA more appeal

A4 - looks the same as before. I like the lines and the 1.4 offering seems a bit lame for the price (in reality, it drives fairly well in town!) and is offered in the base Skoda Octavia

A6 - Was a "solid" contender. Does the job without being innovative. An obvious choice? Well, no, great choice for a chauffered company hack, but the new E Class killed it in terms of functionality, prestige, performance and image. The new 5 - great drivers car but in reality being sold as Emirates taxis - really! In Bangalore, thats all i see.

A8 - Boring looks like an A6 at a glance. Mercedes still has the S as a benchmark, and the Maybach if you want to be different

Q3 - Too old but was a tremendous success for the yummy mummy crowd

Q5 - lots of happy older Q5 owners but new one looks too much like the same and interiors are not as plush

Q7 - very competent but lost its presence.

Whats holding Audi back. Poor forecasting. They are in a Catch 22 situation. They need and have new models A6 and A8 but are struggling with too much stock. Discount heavily and you dilute the brand. They are trying that but no one is biting, heck, I get mails everyday almost like a spurned ex trying to lure me back.

The A4 should have been been relaunched with a 2 litre petrol also (does not cost much!)

Audi should have acknowledged that the A6 was a dying breed and wound down the numbers a couple of years back. Ditto- the A8. Audi missed a trick in off-loading the cars as Emirate business class taxi's me thinks!

On the marketing front - Audi don't do much to get people into its cars. The odd Q drive event but nothing more. Mercedes, BMW and JLR have regular roadshows. Audi initially made an impact due to strong Bollywood exposure. Now JLR and Mercedes rule the roost there.

Last edited by ajmat : 13th March 2019 at 13:14.
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:43   #22
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

To put it simply, Audi has lost their bling. It all started with the more modern interiors, and the sharp looks of the 2008 A4. Audi had packed it with features, and it looked great. Since then the few models they launched, the A6, A8, Q7, etc all had the good looks going for them. They had engine options to compete with other brands too.

While Audi was at the top, they had huge discounts going on for most of the range. I remember A6s being sold for under 40l on road Mumbai at the time, which was a couple lacs more than a 3 series. The Q7 was a car which many celebrities/politicians were seen in. The brand value was right up there. Look at the Q7 now, it just doesn't have the presence. In fact not many of their newer cars have the kind of road presence which the older Audis used to.

I think after the dieselgate scam, Audi has gone a bit cold in India in terms of competitiveness. Not to mention their cars have become relatively sober in terms of design. Engine options are limited, and whatever is there is not really powerful/fun. I think all those customers who wanted something different, have moved on to Volvo, JLR, etc. And not to mention BMW and Mercedes have become competitive in terms of variants, features, engines and of course design.
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Old 12th March 2019, 12:12   #23
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

For me, it’s the experience of owning an Audi. We’ve had few in the extended family and I don’t think I’ll go with another one if I had to pick. Besides the transmission issues, other mechanical issues and the cost of maintaining Audi higher than the competitors, I would also like to point out at how their cars aren’t as fun to drive except a couple.
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Old 12th March 2019, 12:13   #24
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Someone in my neighbourhood bought a new Q3 some time back. The car is just out of the showroom and already looks 5-years old in terms of design. I think, this explains a lot!
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Old 12th March 2019, 13:00   #25
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

1) Audi's are more Expensive to maintain - As per mechanic and user reports. (Mercs are easiest to maintain in the aftermarket and the BMW's fail the least).

2) Nothing except the lights remained unique and the rest caught on.

3) All look the same. (Family look taken too far).

4) Under powered for the respective segments. (Not exciting enough).

5) The higher age group wants the 3 pointed star. The youth wants the drivers car. No mans land.

6) The Audi SUV's don't LOOK impressive. Looks matter.

7) Everyone offers a discount all year long now.

Last edited by ACM : 12th March 2019 at 13:04.
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Old 12th March 2019, 13:14   #26
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarik.arora View Post
Someone in my neighbourhood bought a new Q3 some time back. The car is just out of the showroom and already looks 5-years old in terms of design. I think, this explains a lot!
Agreed. The Q3 ages poorly.


Did Audi pull the A8 off the Indian market? It was missing from their website.
https://www.audi.in/in/web/en/models.html
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Old 12th March 2019, 13:14   #27
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACM View Post

5) The higher age group wants the 3 pointed star. The youth wants the drivers car. No mans land.
I think back then Audi did have a USP i.e they were recognized as a brand to go for if you want premium SUV's. The BMW SUV's looked more like hatch and Merc did not have enough models barring the ageing ML and GL. With Time competition caught up and infact stepped up the game where as Audi was left behind with age old models and lack luster new models. They have to get the new Q3 quickly, spruce up Q5 and redesign Q7.

Last edited by PrideRed : 12th March 2019 at 13:15.
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Old 12th March 2019, 13:24   #28
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I have had several Audiís in Europe over the years. I just had one for five week as a temporary replacement of my company car. They are very well made and for my business use, doing lots and lots of motorway miles they are very capable, comfortable, safe and low maintenance cars. But so are a several others.

I can not put my finger on it exactly, but to me Audi has gone the Volvo way. It has become a somewhat boring/bland brand. Nothing special about it. Admittedly, most models are still very good cars. Put together really well, nice materials, nice finish, handles well. But at the end of the day it just doesnít impress as a total package. Nothing special jumps out.

I like a car to give me a special feeling, put a smile on my face just by the thought of "I need to go for a drive". Audiís donít do that anymore for me.

To some extend I feel the same for all the big German Brands. Great cars, but becoming boring and bland. It is nothing special anymore. Get yourself a Fiat 500 and it will put a smile on your face anytime you drive it. Get a Audi A6 and it is an impressive piece of automotive design and production, but it is just a very annonemous comfortable transportation pod.

You need to drive a hundreds of kilometer per week, the A6 is a much better place to be than the Fiat 500, obviously. But you will never have a smile on your face. Blandness triumphs.

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Old 12th March 2019, 13:30   #29
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Adding to what everyone has mentioned 2 things come to my mind -

1. This whole VW family thing possibly is affecting the premium positioning of Audi. Engines are shared, many owners would know that platforms are also shared. So why would someone plonk that much money and just get a VW car with a slightly different skin and a different engine nomenclature ? and that skin is not even very desirable or unique. The minimalist design with straight lines is something you can get in any car from VW right from the Vento to the Passat.
Whereas, to my knowledge, there are no mass market cars or brands that share Merc/BMW platforms or engines. So, someone putting in big bucks for BMW/Merc is really getting something unique and quite desirable at that

2. I know for a fact that BMW Finance and Daimler Finance are very aggressive in the market with unique EM/lease plans and bundled offers. They work very closely with their OEMs and come up with innovative schemes. I have not heard many good things about how VW finance works.
And Finance is a big part of the entire buying process.


I frankly am surprised how Audi is still doing the numbers it is doing now !
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Old 12th March 2019, 13:43   #30
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I have been noticing a lot of celebrity give-aways, if not wrong. An S5 gifted to Ajay Devgan, Virat Kohli gets the S5 too.
On the other hand, I have been showing interest in A6 but my local dealership just refuses to give me an offer. They sent me a video brochure and that is where the conversation is dropped. Have heard similar stores from some friends enquiring about Q5.
I do believe that a lot of factors are bringing Audi down. Poor marketing has to be at the top of the list.

Last edited by moralfibre : 12th March 2019 at 20:42. Reason: Typos
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