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Audi Shifts Focus, Puts More Priority On EV Models Versus Niche Models

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On: Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 8:13AM | By: Carl Malek

Audi Shifts Focus, Puts More Priority On EV Models Versus Niche Models

Like other brands in the greater Volkswagen empire, Audi has been dealt a sizeable blow by the ever growing Dieselgate scandal. As a result of this unforeseen blow, Audi revealed that it is shifting the focus of its research and development budget to projects to bring more green vehicles to the marketplace including the production version of the Q6 e-tron.

In a brief statement to the Australian website Motoring, a source within Audi explained the decision, "Everybody is, of course, concerned about the after effects of the diesel crisis and the thinking is that Audi has to show people we are serious about these kinds of cars." The first casualties of this abrupt shift in focus will not surprisingly be models that were designed with niche segments of the market in mind. These include production versions of the TT off-road concept unveiled two years ago, as well as the production version of the TT Sportback which debuted at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. Both models would have certainly stood out in the showroom, but their low sales as well as the unnecessary costs involved in converting them from concept to production made them prime targets for the axe.

Motoring's inside man also reported that the swath of cuts didn't stop there, and has caused the upcoming Q4 to be delayed indefinitely. The Q4 was supposed to be a coupe-like crossover; it would have competed against the BMW X4 as well as the upcoming Mercedes Benz GLC coupe in an equally niche but significant segment of the booming CUV market. Audi's troubles are not limited to just the brand itself, other brands have had to radically alter their plans due to Dieselgate. VW's Czech Republic-based brand Skoda was forced to formally cancel the launch of the Roomster, a rebadged version of the Volkswagen Caddy family wagon. The Roomster's cancelation was unexpected, due to it being dropped a few weeks ahead of its official debut with the first pre-production models already built when the penny dropped on the program.

Look for the rest of the empire to make similar changes, including Lamborghini, Bentley, and Volkswagen itself. Curiously, we suspect that its motorcycle division, Ducati, will largely remain out of the line of fire and be the lone exception to Volkswagen's recent push towards cost cutting and plan alterations for its other brands.


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