A recent trip to 4 countries in Europe made it very clear that the Audi line of vehicles in Europe has a strong presence unseen in the US. In parking lots, on the highways, and down common streets you could see an Audi in nearly one out of every four cars. It was obviously a popular automobile brand with our Euro carrying friends across the pond.
The elegant lines, impressive interiors, and luxury appeal give each Audi an instant place alongside Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus. A certain class of driver seeks these types of automobiles to make a statement about who they are and how they live. So why is the market share so much smaller for Audi’s in the US? We’ll examine several reasons.
It is obvious that pricing and additional costs associated with a luxury car can exclude many possible buyers from the market before ever stepping onto the dealership’s lot. However, as seen in other popular European makes, their are no shortage of buyers in the US who can easily afford these high class and pricey vehicles. With that being the case, the lackluster sales data and road presence for the Audi brand raises the question of what keeps them less favorable in the states. The answer? Well, we think it is only a matter of time.
Brands like Mercedes date back to before World War II and that brand familiarity with the baby boomer generation gave them a head start with a generation that fits the target market. As their children come of age and advance their careers, the brand preferences has continued in the family and maintained that favorable position for Mercedes. BMW benefits from the same name recognition as a status symbol with American brand Lexus using outstanding marketing techniques to do the same for their brand. With Audi being a newer player in the game, their marketing efforts (such as those during televised professional sporting events) have made a noticeable impression on the average consumer by meeting them where they are. With brand recognition growing steadily year over year, they will soon take their place at the table with the other big players.
When it comes to competitive pricing, such as the 2015 A3 sedan starting price under $30k, the Audi lineup is waging war with the longstanding veterans by lowering the bar for luxury car ownership. While refusing to sacrifice quality, this approach has historically proven to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, as an automaker, you have the unique opportunity of expanding your market share through those buyers that remain on the fringe due to pricing. On the flip side, losing the exclusivity and elite ownership status of the brand caused a tight rope to be carefully navigated with these types of moves. It is a calculated risk, but one that Audi seems poised to make.
Only time will tell if the Audi dominance in Europe will make its way across the Atlantic and set up shop in the worlds largest consumer base of automobiles. While their current standing may still lag behind, the tactical marketing approach seems to be picking up steam and giving Audi of America a bright future in the United States Marketplace.
Check out the best place to find a Used Audi For Sale in the US.