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Re: If it WASN'T a Quattro - not the complete question!

> If it WASN'T a Quattro and if you don't have a deep pocket and a fat 
> check book would you consider an Audi???

that's a very different question, especially if you pull in:

> The fact is, average purchase price of a car in America is just under 
> $18k according to Newsweek. No new FWD Audi for this amount of money!

what european car is available in the USA for $18k and under ? VW,
audi's motherlode. that's it. nothing from volvo, saab, bmw, porsche (as
if!), mb, there are indeed other euro-marques, but none are widely
available here in the USA.

by definition, anyone looking at a new audi is considering spending a
good deal more on their vehicle than the "average" vehicle puchasing
citizen of the USA.

by the time you have "opened the window" sufficiently to afford the audi
you are looking at, there are many alternatives you might purchase.
almost every model from the "non-luxury-marques" of the asian
manufacturers, most US marques, and several of the euro manufacturers.

in a sense, the question has been re-phrased:

"Does Audi, without the Quattro-Advantage, produce a competitive range
of products for the US market ?"

the evidence, given the significant increase in audi sales in the US
last year (i believe approx 23%, 50% of which were q-cars), is yes.

in our experience with actually purchasing a new audi, they are damn
hard cars to get. the selection on dealer lots is attrocious, which
makes getting a "deal" difficult because the cars are in short supply.
if you want a particular combination of features you are forced to order
the car, and wait, or wait for the car you want to "appear" on the lot.
in a market where "instant gratification" is a key factor, these factors
have a negative impact on sales, and audi's success in the marketplace
comes *despite* these disadvantages.