For the Love of Cars: How Audi Survives

It took Audi thirty years (1969-1999) to sell one million vehicles in the United States, but whether that number is an impressive standard or not isn’t the real point of interest. It’s that Audi and their partner dealers have been able to deliver quality cars for over thirty years.

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Audi on Top

The early days of the automotive industry were as chaotic as anyone might expect. England, Germany, France, Japan, and Australia were making and remaking the new technology, according to their visions of what it should ultimately become. They all shared the passion of making the best cars the world will ever know, as well as selling them in the United States.

America was and is the biggest market for automobiles. If you can convince Americans to buy your brand instead of the home grown Fords and Chevys, then you have a good car. Audi did that one million times at the end of the century and they’re not about to stop.

Coming to America

Penetrating the American market is a much bigger deal for European brands than most people think. This is significant because aside from Audi, the only European automobile manufacturers in mainstream consciousness are Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

One of the big things the European brand has going for it is the fact that it’s a luxury brand. People like the idea of driving around in something that’s just as expensive as their house, while looking the part. The brand perceptions definitely help the sales division of Audi in higher-end markets like Long Island and Los Angeles. The biggest reason anyone really wants to buy a new car is that they want to show-off, its being a reliable and economic machine is an added bonus.

Being a luxury brand can be a double-edged sword, though, as a slumping economy will turn some customers away. The Japanese have been able to maintain a significant presence in America by playing towards the performance of the economy and selling cheaper automobiles. But, the intrepid four-ringed logo still runs on American highways despite the situational handicap, proving the trust that many people have put into the brand.


About the Author

As a New York-based psychologist. Thelma Scott has conducted several seminars tackling adult autism.