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Audi E-tron Photo: Supplied
 
 

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David McCowen | Jul, 11 2018 | 0 Comments

Audi is preparing to mount a serious challenge to Mercedes and BMW’s place at the top of the luxury car sales charts, readying a salvo of new models that should have a pronounced effect on its local operation.

Speaking with reporters at the launch of the new A8 flagship sedan, Audi Australia managing director Paul Sansom says the four-door limousine will be followed by several important models including an A1 compact hatch, A7 Sportback, A6 sedan, RS5 Sportback performance car and Q8 luxury SUV in late 2018 and 2019.

“The new A8 is the beginning of an extraordinary new range of product that are coming our way that will ensure the Audi lineup is the most contemporary, desirable, progressive brand in the premium segment. 

“This is the start of a very exciting product avalanche for us. 

“All of those models, they’re coming within the next 12 months to Australia, which is very exciting. 

“It’s an incredible run of new products… our flagship models will all be brand new, not just enhanced but brand new products, and they’re all brimming with class-leading technology.”

While the near-$200,000 A8 is likely to sell in small numbers, its place as a symbol of the brand's technical prowess should help customers consider more affordable options.

Sansom says a suite of new petrol, diesel and hybrid models will be joined by Audi’s first all-electric machine next year. Sharing its core with the Porsche Taycan, formerly known as Mission-E, the e-tron represents an important development for the brand.

“Next year as well heralds the launch of the first all-electric Audi, the e-tron, in Australia,” Sansom says.

“We really anticipate that we can show the world that Audi’s electric vehicle is really, truly, without peer. 

“It gives us the opportunity in Australia to really strengthen our brand. 

“Now is the opportunity with this product avalanche in the C and D segment that can really our marketing messages around building our brand image. 

“It gives us a great opportunity to build our market share even further.”

Acknowledging that Australia has been slow to accept electric cars, the Audi boss predicts a natural shift toward battery-powered vehicles as they become more affordable and accessible. 

Sansom does not believe the Volkswagen Group's diesel emissions scandal will have a major effect on sales, saying the brand has had a "really good" response to emissions recalls in Australia, with more than 70 per cent of eligible customers bringing cars in for revised software. 

 
Filed under A8 Audi e-tron electric vehicles
 
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