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Audi aims to double Q7 sales

Local hero: Like the first generation of Audi’s flagship SUV, the Q7 was tested and developed in Australia's challenging and hostile environment.

Blossoming gen-2 Q7 range can attract 200-plus sales a month, says Audi

7 Aug 2015

AUDI is planning to double local sales of its Q7 large SUV with the all-new second-generation line-up that will launch with a single diesel variant and follow up with a plug-in hybrid and a possibly a more affordable alternative in 2016.

Just one variant be on offer at the model's local launch next month – the 200kW 3.0 TDI Quattro priced from $103,900 before on-road costs – but the company is considering a second 160kW diesel version to follow an already confirmed PHEV.

Speaking at the launch of the new Q7, Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle told GoAuto the company had high expectations for the second-generation model, and that its significant advancements would “absolutely” attract a bigger audience this time round.

“We are very confident,” he said. “With the lightweight design, with the technology, with a smaller car on the outside but a bigger car on the inside we are very confident we can significantly uplift the volume.

“We have been averaging about 100 to 110 units a month over the last eight or nine years. There’s absolutely no reason we can’t sell well over 200 and maybe even more.

“We’ve got 12,000 existing customers out there … they’ve proven to be loyal over the long lifecycle of the previous model and we believe that we’ve got a good chance with them but also the opportunity from the C-segment SUV.

“We have our friends from BMW and Benz. We would argue we are and always have been a true seven-seater offering but, of course, we would love to encourage all X5 and ML, XC90 owners – whoever – to come and try our new Q7.” In addition to the initial 3.0-litre 200kW diesel option and later hybrid, Mr Doyle said the company was considering another more affordable 160kW variant to join the local line-up later.

“We talked about a 160kW as an alternative, additional model next year and Audi is always delivering vorsprung so you never know, but nothing is confirmed right now,” he said.

“There is a place for that product offering in the marketplace. It is a slightly different buyer and it might be a slightly different price point as well. I think the timing could be right for some time next year to bring that in, and we are confident in the meantime that 200kW will be the one that will be in hot demand.

“It’s not just about price. There will be specification differences which certain buyers might not be 100 per cent interested in so it will be appealing to them.” Like the previous version, the new Audi Q7 underwent local development and enhancement for Australia's unique conditions, and Mr Doyle explained that the research carried out Down Under is applied to all markets around the globe.

“Australia is a very important market for Audi AG,” he said. “Two teams came out here and did different types of testing and we are number six in the world for Q7 so Audi AG had to make sure that things works exactly right, and the whole way throughout the process of getting the specification and getting this car right we were very much involved.

“The testing the guys did had local adaptations required and feedback that was required on a global basis that was sent back, and that’s the whole purpose of the trip.

“For us it’s really important that they came to our back yard and not just Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, they went some distance.

Despite its competitors offering cheaper two-wheel-drive options, Mr Doyle said Audi would not follow suit and the Q7 would remain true to its heritage with quattro four-wheel drive for the foreseeable future.

“We are a brand that invented quattro and as a Q model we will be sticking with quattro,” he concluded.” Audi's all-new Q7 goes on sale next month priced from $103,900 before on-road costs for the sole 3.0 TDI Quattro offering.

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