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More choice is best, says Audi

Package deal: Audi's all-new Q7 is the latest model in the line-up to be offered a choice of options packages, following good uptake with other models.

Audi maintaining residual value with kit-boosting packages and a diverse range

Audi logo13 Aug 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

AUDI Australia says it will not actively limit the number of models and variants in its local range as other brands have chosen to do, suggesting that it will take any new offering available to it from the company's global portfolio.

The German car-maker's Australian boss also said that an expanding selection of bundled packages was the way to maintain resale and residual value.

While some other brands have constrained model line-ups to fewer variants, the Audi strategy offers a wider range that can be customised with various packages and, following strong initial uptake, the company would be extending the packs to more lines.

Speaking with GoAuto, Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle said the company would continue to accept all new products as they become available, and a simplified options list was its preferred approach to attracting customers and preserving resale prices.

“As car guys and girls, and as Australians, I think we like all good products and Audi makes all great products so there’s no reason not to,” he said. “We offer everything from the lowest price point A1 up to an R8 and we will try to offer most products that are available.

“What we have tried to do, rather than reduce product model offerings, is to simplify the standard specification and packaging, which I think is the right thing to do from a long-term perspective because we don’t just think about the first sale. We think about the second or third.”

Audi first offered the bundled packages on its A4 mid-sized sedan and Avant range and following customer purchasing habits, would be offering similar deals for more models. Mr Doyle said vehicles with higher levels of equipment were more attractive on the used-car market and maintained a higher resale value.

“For us, residual value is really important because we are building a brand for the next 100 years not the next five years so that’s something we are working on – to simplify things a little bit,” he said. “We know from our market intelligence and our own analysis, what is of the highest uptake in terms of options and so we package that at a value proposition that is attractive.

“More and more people are optioning up a package because it's attractive. It’s been very popular. Rather than have comments about high option pricing I think its really great to put together popular sets of equipment that make sense.

“You can order any option you like, that’s not a problem, but what we are trying to do is package options that are most popular in certain model ranges.

We don't take every single engine in the range but we offer a vast majority.”

While the company was keen to diversify the local range wherever possible, Mr Doyle explained each model or variant was carefully considered and new products would only be introduced if they can earn their keep.

“We are careful about it of course,” he said. “We watch our stocks, we watch our ordering, we use marketing intelligence and we use our data analytics to make sure that we are looking at the trends. We are offering the products that people want.”

Audi Australia senior product communications executive Shaun Cleary said customers understand that packages are a good deal, and it was unusual to find a buyer who did not choose some sort of pack.

“It’s an easy to understand conversation to have with the customer,” he said.

“You have your Technic package which is technology inside the car, you have your style package for things like A3, which is everything outside the car.

“Very few people across the entire range come away with a base car.”

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