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Audi speeds up delivery

Shorter on-sale delay is the key to Australian sales success, says Audi

Audi logo5 Nov 2004

AUDI’S drive to 10,000 sales in Australia within five years will be aided by a plan to reduce the delay between model launches in Europe and their Australian on-sale date.

One of the first benefi ciaries of the plan should be the vital new Q7 SUV, which goes on sale in Europe early in 2006.

Getting the Q7 here on time will be a key to Audi achieving its sales targets, as chairman Wayne Griffiths – who announced the target at the Australian International Motor Show – estimates SUVs will account for 15 per cent of those 10,000 sales.

"I would be fighting to get the right-hand drive version as near as to the UK version," he said.

"It is my job and my team’s job to make sure we get the models into Australia much nearer to the European launch.

"Media and everything is so linked. I think it is a shame for the customers if they have to wait another six months for Australia," he said.

It is certainly within Mr Griffiths’ power to push for an improvement in delivery times, as he is also a heavyweight in Audi’s international sales and marketing department.

 center image The 1500 SUV figure will be split equally between the Q7 and the yet-to-be-seen smaller vehicle tipped to be called Q5 and expected to arrive in 2008.

Q7 is based on the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touareg, and has been previewed by the Pikes Peak concept.

The Q5 uses the A4 platform and has been previously hinted at in the A3- based Steppenwolf concept first seen at Paris in 2000.

"The two SUVs will be as significant as each other," Mr Griffi ths said. "The second one will be smaller from a size point of view, more accessible to a broader range.

"However, for Australia, I think the Q7 is particularly interesting ... that size of car here I think is well accepted.

"Petrol prices here are not prohibitive, so I think it takes after America for Australia," he said.

Mr Griffiths said the primary target for the Q7 would be the BMW X5, with pricing and engine range intended to target the luxury SUV class leader.

While the launch engine for Q7 will be a 4.2-litre petrol V8, expect V6 petrol engines to follow along with V6 and V8 diesel engines. The Q7 is expected to come with seven seats.

The next X5, due in 2006, is also tipped to ramp up to seven seats.

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