The new Audi A3 is finally coming early next year. It’s probably about 2 or 3 years late, as the current model is 8 years old and is still based on the Golf platform from the previous generation. As a result, the current car’s refinement and design is not really worthy of the Audi nameplate. To make things worse, Audi badly botched the pricing on the car and made the diesel (to me, the only valuable proposition in the lineup) car unavailable with the quattro system. A loaded A3 is about the same price as the base A4 with an automatic, and it offers nowhere near the styling, room, refinement or presence of the larger car. As a result, sales suffered and Audi did pretty much nothing to correct the situation, keeping interest rates high and incentives minimal, showing once again that they “know better”.
|Daimler leader Dieter Zetsche|
I’m beginning to suspect that only prestige and the talent of the engineers responsible for designing suspensions, brakes, steering systems and seats keep the Germans strong in
North America. Spotty reliability, ridiculous pricing of optional equipment (take a look at any Porsche model’s option list) and ultra-expensive service at snobbish dealers surly drives away a few hundred thousand buyers from all the German brands in North America.
Volkswagen is taking some steps to improve pricing in their lineup, at least with their cars (trucks are still overpriced), but other makers clumsily keep going around in circles (wake up BMW!). Just look at Daimler leader Dieter Zetsche and his mustache. How can you take a guy like that seriously? He couldn’t clean up the Chrysler and the Maybach fiascos, not to mention facing up to several other important challenges in
North America and they still keep him around!
But enough of this anti-German rant (my friends know that I complain because I’m a big fan) and let’s get back to the A3.
Those pesky Europeans get all the juicy models of course, so we’ll likely be denied the best stuff again. They will get a whole range of direct injection turbo and turbo diesel engines and a couple of hot S3 and RS3 versions of the car. For us stupid and fat North Americans they will likely only send cars with the 2.0 L turbo direct injection engine and hopefully the diesel. They better bring the diesel (
Europe gets a hot 181-hp 2.0 diesel, of course) and they better make it available with the quattro system.
My consulting services are available and my charges are reasonable. If only they listened. Hallo! Jemand zu Hause Deutschland?