NICHE: Audi aiming for the compact saloon market
Audi are looking to exploit the niche compact saloon market with their new A3 saloon, the company’s Product Manager has revealed.
The segment has struggled in Europe, especially in the more prosperous northern markets, but Rob Morris believes Audi’s new offering – released this week – can go against the grain.
“This is a car which we already sell in big numbers in the US and China so we already have the volumes,” Mr Morris said.
“The market in Europe is not big but one which we think will open up, particularly in the premium compact segment.”
Audi claim the A3 saloon is the first car of its type and size in the UK, and Mr Morris said he is hoping demand will grow quickly.
Every panel has been changed, while the car is 11mm wider, 146mm longer and 9mm lower than its hatchback counterpart.
The range starts at £24,275 and kicks off with a choice of two petrol engines and a diesel engine.
A 1.6litre diesel which emits just 99g/km of CO2 will follow towards the end of the year, with Quattro versions arriving from the first quarter of 2014.
“This is not a case of a boot just being added on, this has been specifically designed as a compact saloon with which we will challenge the traditional barriers in this segment,” added Mr Morris.
Additional reporting courtesy of headlineauto, with thanks.