Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler said the company may build a new entry-level SUV but that there are no plans to develop a version of the upcoming Volkswagen Up minicar.
Media reports are guessing that Audi would develop its own variant of the Up under the code-name "Audi AO." Volkswagen AG’s Czech-based Skoda unit plans to develop an Up minicar variant.
Stadler said he sees potential for a small SUV below the Q5 and the new Q3, which launches later in 2011; however, he said the company had not yet reached a decision on whether to launch a car that could be named Q1.
Audi currently has 37 model variants, with plans to extend the number to 42 by 2015 as part of its drive to surpass BMW AG as the world's biggest luxury carmaker by that year. Stadler is hopeful about the demand for the A1, which was launched in 2010.
Stadler said Audi may use the full 120,000-unit capacity at its Brussels factory in 2011. The A1 will not be sold in the United States. Stadler said the company doesn’t have the capacity to launch the A1 in the U.S. even though its dealers there are enthusiastic about the car.
He added that Audi prefers to exploit the full market potential for the cars it currently sells in the U.S. before launching new models. [via autonews - sub. required]