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Audi at the NY Auto Show

Thanks to a lister who shall remain unnamed, I was able to 
attend the second day of the NY Auto Show press preview.
I got to meet a couple of people at Audi, thanks to his connections.
(Don't get excited - a polite nod and a handshake was all I
got).  On a positive note, I did get to meet Reeves Callaway 
and got him to sign a poster of their new C12 car, which was on 
display and is positively stunning. :)

Audi's display consists of a cutaway A6 (with manual transmission!),
some type of safety display involving a seat and 3pt seatbelt
(this was not yet working).  On the pedestal is the new A6 Avant,
and on the floor several A4/A6/A8 cars, identical to the ones
you would find at the dealer (ie nothing new here).

Following are comments based on notes I took during the official
A6 Avant debut, featuring the President of Audi USA,
(whose name I will not butcher, since I don't have
the correct spelling and it does not appear in the press kit).

I think you can link to some photos and the official PR here:


- Audi has exceeded sales goals for the first quarter, and has
  had their best 1Q since 1986.  Interestingly, 
  made reference to "unintended acceleration", in the context
  of moving beyond troubled times.

- franchise strength is tremendous - in a survey of dealers, Audi
  is the #4 preferred franchise, behind Lexus, MB, and Porsche.

- current forecast is even more aggressive.  26 Audi-only showrooms
  will be open soon, with distinct brand separation in the
  other dealerships.

- The A6 Avant is considered a "luxury touring wagon" and is 
  intended to compete with other wagons from BMW, MB and Volvo.
  The slogan above the wagon was "Sport, utility, verve - let
  the counter revolution begin." [side comment - "counter revolution"
  should be one word, or hyphenated - who the heck checks their
  ad copy?  Probably the same people at Apple who came up with
  "Think Different"]  Notice the obvious move to capture some
  SUV sales as well.

- The Avant has 36.4 cu ft trunk capacity, as well as best in class
  rear legroom and rear headroom.  [I have a full press kit and 
  can share any other details you may wish for.  There are some
  very interesting options including a warm weather package,
  xenon HID lights, rear jump seats (for kids), rear side 
  airbags, etc]  The base car includes quattro and Tiptronic,
  with a base price of $36,600.    It features 5 3pt safety belts.

- Audi production is currently constrained - especially in the A6
  cars.  Supply is improving on the A4 line.  Reference was made
  to the TT/TTs as well.  In a nutshell, they are selling every 
  car they make and then some, so don't expect to haggle much,
  and don't expect to have much impact on any changes [my
  interpretation of course!]

- Question from the press (paraphrased): "given your rich
  heritage in motorsports...when will we see S versions of 
  your cars?"  The answer conveniently sidestepped the motorsports
  part, with the reply that once the core line is built up,
  in the next 2 or 3 press conferences we will see info about
  S cars.  

That's about it.  
Pretty cool day, made me want to switch industries!

Thanks again to my anonymous lister pal who got me in.

| Dan |
Dan Simoes                                dans@ans.net
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