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Old 13th March 2019, 15:30   #46
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Walked past an Audi showroom earlier today, and the only thing that caught my eye was a yellow A4. Design language for the entire Audi line-up was very ordinary.
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Old 13th March 2019, 16:38   #47
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I guess all the substantial reasons have been given for the decelerating sales of Audi. There is one more reason people here in Gujju land shy away to put their hard earned money on Audi these days. There is a Gujarati song which almost all the Rickshaw wala's play a-loud, 'Tane Char-Char Bangdi wali gadi lai dau' (means - I buy you a car with 4 Bangles). A completely fashion flawed Rickshaw-wala plays this song at a junction & yet, successfully manages to give a inferior complex to the person sitting inside an Audi next to him.
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Old 13th March 2019, 16:40   #48
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

For me it's the service that has also been an issue. Every friend who owns an Audi has had major service issues from incorrect diagnosis, parts failing, expensive parts, incorrect installation, huge waiting times for parts, etc.

So whenever someone asks me about buying an Audi, my response is stay far away!
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Old 13th March 2019, 17:30   #49
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Hereís what I think:
- Outdated models (A3, Q3, and A6 specially). This does not go well with the well informed ₹50 lakh buyer who will not make compromises.
- Cannibalization of the Q3 by the Kodiaq and A4 by the Superb (okay, thatís not very close but what Iím trying to say is that both of these are waaay better than their Audi counterparts). Heck, the Superb and Passat make the A6 look very overpriced . And why would someone buy the petrol A3 over the Octavia vRS (other than brand exclusivity)??
- Mercedes and BMW have better customer satisfaction overall than Audi
- A wildcard point: the MQB/ MLB platforms. The whole product range looks the same. They have the same interior, give or take some equipment. There is no real product differentiation except space and price. They have the same engines across the range and drive the same too.
- Q7 The single factor holding people across from walking in and purchasing it is its tame looks. Why, Audi? Why?? After all, it was its butch size and sheer presence which made it the ďFortunerĒ of its segment. The Q5 is too similar to the previous model. It looks like a mere facelift.
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Old 13th March 2019, 18:24   #50
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

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Originally Posted by balderash_12 View Post
- Cannibalization of the Q3 by the Kodiaq and A4 by the Superb (okay, thatís not very close but what Iím trying to say is that both of these are waaay better than their Audi counterparts). Heck, the Superb and Passat make the A6 look very overpriced . And why would someone buy the petrol A3 over the Octavia vRS (other than brand exclusivity)??
- Mercedes and BMW have better customer satisfaction overall than Audi
- A wildcard point: the MQB/ MLB platforms. The whole product range looks the same. They have the same interior, give or take some equipment. There is no real product differentiation except space and price. They have the same engines across the range and drive the same too.
Honestly, a lot of points you have mentioned are true.

To add to my previous post earlier in the thread:

As an Audi owner - the poor service is definitely a big deterrent from me to purchase another one. Waiting for appointments, waiting for parts, and worse customer service than their cheapest sibling brand (in India at least) - Skoda!
Heck - I've had random parts fail on my A6 that just haven't on any other car that I've owned - like the rear child lock mechanism, rear sunblind mechanism!

Similarly, the whole line-up loses out on the glam quotient they once had which made people fall in love with them in the first place. In fact, Mercedes is on top because of the looks, BMW is second because of the discounts that will give older Audi models a run for it's money (discounted G30 a few lakhs more than the outdated A6, etc.)

Another problem IMO is that their turn-around and new product development take too long! We picked up our A6 in 2011 from the first batch. It is now 2019, and the new A6 is yet to arrive on our shores. 8 years, and they are flagging the same model - the only other competitor to do this is Jaguar with their decade old XJ-L!
In comparison, BMW and Mercedes have quicker product life cycles which truly move the game forward!

Lastly - Audi's suffer horrible resale. This does not inspire repeat purchases in the luxury segment - where most people have low run luxury vehicles they want to sell within 3-5 years of ownership to upgrade to something nicer.

That being said, I would have to disagree with you on the Q3 v/s Kodiaq - a buyer looking for a branded vehicle will 90% end up buying a branded vehicle only!

Similarly, I will also disagree on the exterior and interiors being too common across the range. Mercedes, BMW, JLR, Volvo, etc. all use their unique family design throughout their range so I wouldn't consider this as a factor in their poor sales.

IMO - Audi today is trying to be the jack of all trades (debatable - I am trying to be nice to them as a fellow customer), but master of none. In comparison, all it's rivals have a few areas where they really excel and that is what draws buyers to the showrooms because the luxury car purchase for most first time buyers is about the aspirational value and appeal - the Audi doesn't have the same connect as other rivals. I still miss my W211 E Class, E60 5 series - but the A6 parked downstairs just doesn't seem that it will have the same emotional value once we sell it - despite being a brilliant all rounder.
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Old 13th March 2019, 18:35   #51
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Absolutely true! Only 1 more point: The Kodiaq is outselling the Q3. Yes itís true. I am not able to find the article or I would have posted it.
People are no longer giving a cold shoulder to Skoda (not as much as before at least ). But yes people looking for an Audi will buy an Audi. I only meant that the Kodiaq has managed to attract a good percentage of them.
Rest of them buy the Fortuner only
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:05   #52
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

A topic, I really want to talk about.
Yes! Audi was indeed the king in the mid this decade but it faded quite quickly for the brand and to be honest, it deserves that.
Before buying the 320D a few days back, I checked out the entire entry level line up from Audi beginning from A3 to the A6.
The current portfolio feels extremely outdated when compared to the competition. The A3 diesel felt extremely nice to drive but that's about it!
The interior space was lesser than the Vento, the all black interior simply did not feel premium enough nor does the fit and finish help in any way. The car simply lacked the feel of driving a Premium german and it's ridiculously priced. Even though Audi offered me a hefty discount, the vehicle just did not justify the price. The next car was the Q3 and its straight away blown out of the water, the moment X1 enters the scene. The GLA is definitely a more premium vehicle than the Q3 but the X1 took it a notch higher with an even better interior. The space offered by the competition felt better, fit and finish felt way more premium and even the colors used in the cabin gives you that feel good factor whereas the Audi made you feel like you're going to buy an entry level UV. For e.g who provides net pockets in the back seat of a 40 Lakh UV?!
I don't know why Audi has switched to all black interiors in both the Q3 and A3! The beige interiors isn't even an option anymore. Also, the design, I wonder what is keeping Audi so occupied that they aren't launching the next generation iterations of both the vehicles.
Then came the A4, I was ready to stretch my budget for the same and the Premium Plus Petrol was right in my budget, it was a demo vehicle but who gives a 1.4L TSi with 150 Horses on tap in a 50 lakh sedan? I would rather buy a Skoda Superb and save quite a lot of money without compromising on anything except the brand name. Secondly, why is the A4 an FWD?
The handling has taken a drastic hit! The car even though more spacious and comfortable simply doesn't has the fun factor anymore. The 320D and C Class are so much better to drive! The interiors of the A4 did felt nice but then again, it lacked that wow factor which the competition offers.
The A6? Let's not talk about it. Anyway Audi is busy making coffee editions for the same. The new E and 5er came ages back, yet I cannot see any signs of the new A6 arriving anytime soon.

To sum it up, Audi is destined to fail if they do not pull up their socks, launch the next generation Q3 and A6 along with a proper facelift of the A4. The current line up is simply dull and cannot take on the intense competition. The cars fail on paper itself, let alone the driving experience.
Secondly, Audi needs to work on their drivetrains. The 1.4 in a premium vehicle simply won't cut it especially when you're charging the same money as the competition. Also, the 2.0 TDi is nowhere close to the BMW's Twin Power diesel or even the C220's heart. The transmission too of the latter feels much more superior along with the luxury factor which one looks at in these vehicles.
The designing team at Audi needs to get back to the board, none of its vehicle have the appeal to command what Audi is charging even at discounted prices. There are much better alternatives in the market. Also, the dealership experience too has taken a major hit. The sales executives are lazed out and just say whatever that comes in their mouth trying to over sell the vehicle which is absolutely evident. Except the A5, I simply do not like Audi's any current offerings and I think its going to be this way for the years to come as well.
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Old 14th March 2019, 08:24   #53
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

The answer is quite obvious - VW Group have shot themselves in their foot by having cars like Jetta (even if its no longer sold, people have tasted it), Octavia, Kodiaq, Octavia RS, Tiguan etc, co-exist with Audi. I've been saying it for far too long and people seem to have awoken to this fact only today - VWAG, in their one-dimensional focus to be the top manufacturer on earth, and to increase part-sharing and manufacturing efficiency, are today seeing the lop side of such decisions, as a Skoda is 80% of an Audi at 60% price, same for VW. When VW and Skoda even gives out Car Play and Android Auto connectivity today, Audi doesn't.. guess which car people are going to buy?

The A3 would've made great sense at about 28L on-road (approx 12 lacs over Vento Tsi Highline+), but that car with almost non-existent rear space for such a long car sells at the low 40's.. really? The cars are also expensive and go for solid discounts even without much haggling during off-peak seasons (much like other luxury cars). It makes zero sense to buy them at any other point of time.

However, here's the good about Audi - in a combination of ease of driving, capability of handling city roads and build quality, Audi is easily ahead of the other two, its simply a brand for the young. In terms of build quality compared to BMW, its a night and day difference for me.. Audi has that "true" German attention to detail which BMW doesn't have, nor does VW or Skoda. Want an example? Go to any used luxury car lot, some BMWs have creaking and groaning dashboards and door panels, you really needn't try hard to discover the shoddy build (of some models), while Audis are built really, really, well.

VW should make Audi exciting again.. as in design wise, make their models spacious (German cars have really poor interior room packaging, no exceptions) and make them a bit more affordable without the ridiculous discounts once-awhile. They can come out of the slump. Just make Audi better than a VW or Skoda, way better.
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Old 14th March 2019, 09:16   #54
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

When we were in market for a compact luxury SUV 5 years back, the decision was really simple.

BMW X1 (previous generation) was dying as the new generation was going to come in. Merc GLA was small, had 135 hp engine and no discounts as it was a new launch. On the other hand, Audi Q3 looked fresh, had 180 hp to offer with a a punchy engine and even had the Quattro at a lesser price than the GLA due to good discounts. It was a no brainer and we picked up the Q3.

5 years later, nothing has changed in Audi Q3. It's almost the same car but the others have upped the game. The new X1 is there for the people who love driving. Volvo introduced the XC40 which has features that can put cars one segment above to shame. Since India is crazy for compact SUVs, this alone might have affected Audi by bringing down sales of its once best-seller Q3.

And then of-course the 1.4 TSI engine in the A4. Why would I spend more and buy a 1.4 TSI instead of going for a 1.8 TSI Octavia/Superb? The A4 still has the good 2L TDI engine but offering the 1.4 TSI during the launch just left a bad impression for the brand in people's mind.
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Old 14th March 2019, 23:40   #55
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somu2009 View Post
Actor Randeep Hooda gets a new Mercedes GLS

Attachment 1859215
I might be a little OT but if you have noticed, more celebrities are now picking up the GLS instead of the previously bollywood favourite Q7. It is really indicative of the brand value I guess since these stars are the more concerned lot about the badge than the average joe.

You can see the thread for more such examples wherein celebrities have chosen the star over the bangles.

Cheers!
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:53   #56
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Quote:
Originally Posted by porsche_guy View Post
I might be a little OT but if you have noticed, more celebrities are now picking up the GLS instead of the previously bollywood favourite Q7. It is really indicative of the brand value I guess since these stars are the more concerned lot about the badge than the average joe.

You can see the thread for more such examples wherein celebrities have chosen the star over the bangles.

Cheers!
The answer is simple: The Q7 was a butch vehicle with massive road presence. It was a behemoth and screamed “premium” like no other. It was truly the Fortuner of its segment. But it has now become a tame station wagon. Picture the Fortuner becoming a 2WD monocoque in its next generation and you get the idea. This is another reason for Audi’s failures: the slow death of its cash cow.
But the GLS is a butch vehicle with massive road presence. It’s bigger, badder and than the Q7. Add to it a Mercedes badge. There you are. The recipe of its success: Giving customers maximum bang for their buck (read: maximise real estate) with sheer street cred.

OT: By introducing the V-Class and GLS-class, Mercedes have effectively become the Toyota of the segment (read: luxurious Innova Crysta and Fortuner backed by a company with great brand image!)

Last edited by balderash_12 : 15th March 2019 at 06:54. Reason: Adding the ‘slow death’ point.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:11   #57
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

The only accessible interesting car in the Audi India line up right now is the S5. Everything else is either too plain or too underpowered or just not priced right.

Compare this to yesteryear when they would bring tonnes of interesting cars over. Their entire lineup needs a refresh from the bottom up.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 15th March 2019 at 08:12.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:22   #58
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

https://www.bloombergquint.com/busin...o-bmw-mercedes

Did they read this thread?

The BMW, Mercedes and even the Volvo seeks your attention, there is a desire to drive one, the Audi fails miserably here, at least for me. Designs are too generic.
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Old 15th March 2019, 21:11   #59
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I see more Audi SUV's then sedans while I see more sedans of Merc's and BMW's on the roads today. May be Audi wants to focus on the SUV market but in the price range of big three ie BMW/Merc/Audi I think sedans have a more appeal to the target market. I mean who will take a 50 lac SUV offroad. I mistake Audi's sedans for VW's and Skoda's due to the similarity of the body structure. Probably why another reason Audi has taken a beating.
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Old 15th March 2019, 22:12   #60
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I think of this as a product life cycle issue. Audi was flying high at a time when they had fresh new products - the Q3, A3, A4 and A6. The Q7 also acted as a Halo product for the group even if it did not drive volumes.

Today, bar the A4 and Q5, other products are old. And even the Q5 is decidedly inferior to the X3, and the GLC - and probably gets hit a lot more by the Discovery Sport and the XC40 than the BMW or the Merc. A new generation for the Q3 and A6 could correct this.
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