As Audi moves to comply with more stringent fuel economy standards, it plans to add diesel variants to every volume product in the US within five years. In doing so, Audi aims to cope with the surge in US dealer demand. Diesel versions of the current-generation A8 and A6 sedans as well as the Q5 crossover will be added to Audi’s lineup.
It’s likely that the next-generation A4 will get a four-cylinder diesel engine by 2015. In an interview last week, Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America, said that the company will offer the technology throughout its Audi line. To meet the stricter fuel economy targets in the future, Audi requires more efficient engines.
However, Audi has to consider dealer demand, particularly with the orders for the Q5 and A3. This trend signifies a sharp reversal in how consumers see diesels.
Spokesman Jeff Kuhlman said that dealers are saying that there is a “significant consumer demand" across the Audi portfolio for diesel. As proof, Audi can't keep these two US diesel variants in stock. In fact, diesel sales account for half of A3 hatchback sales and almost 40% of Q7 orders.
Kuhlman said that more diesels could be sold if only Audi had more inventory. De Nysschen predicts that diesel sales would make up for up to 20% of Audi's total sales in the US by 2015 compared with 5.5% today.
He said that the company has been “planning conservatively” and is thinking about “considerable growth." Audi aims to achieve US sales targets of 200,000 unit sales by 2015 – double what it estimates will be its total sales for this year. [via autonews - sub. required]