Audi faces design and line-up hurdles image

While BMW and Mercedes-Benz come to Geneva’s auto show with important models, VW’s premium brand Audi will only have the new TT on the showcase.

While in recent years it strived to close the gap between them and BMW, Audi faces a rather droughty season, with sources telling Reuters the very important A4 and Q7 – top selling models – would be pushed for 2015 because of needed last minute revisions.

Still, a bright spot comes at Geneva, the new TT – which could finally spur another design revolution at the brand, just like it did in 1998.

“The criticism Audi receives is justified,” said Lutz Fuegener, a transportation design professor at Germany’s Pforzheim University. “When an Audi appears in the rear-view mirror these days, figuring out which model line it is has become quite difficult. It’s time for Audi to come up with something more courageous again.”

“Audi is facing a barren spell just when Mercedes looks to take the fight back to the premiums,” said Stefan Bratzel, head of the Centre of Automotive Management think-tank.

Still, the TT could be little more than an image model, as it had accounted in 2013 for less than 2% of Audi’s 1.58 million deliveries. On the other side of the fence, BMW will have on the floor the production versions of the “i” electric sub-brand and Mercedes-Benz will rock the audience with its all-important new C-Class.

Via Reuters/Bloomberg