Initially, Audi hadn’t planned to bring its baby crossover across the pond, but with market demand for luxury compact crossovers exploding, the German automaker is poised to reconsider that move.
The small luxury CUV segment grew 22.3 percent last year, causing several manufacturers to bring new vehicles to market, including BMW with its X1.
Another reason for Audi’s change of mind might be the sales performance generated by the Q5, which has become one of Audi’s hottest selling models – in the US. .alone it has recorded a 70 percent sales increase year over year.
But it’s also been a big player on the global stage too – traditionally, most auto manufacturers have struggled to have a single best selling car in multiple markets, though the Q5 appears to be defying that trend.
According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi’s global sales supremo “I don’t remember in my 25 years in the auto industry, one model that was successful in every country, but the Q5 was a huge hit around the world. We think the Q3 could write a similar success story.”
The possible North American introduction of the Q3 is part of Audi’s next phase of brand development, in which it hopes to sell around 200,000 units annually in the U.S. by 2018 as well as pushing into new segments, including higher price brackets and small cars. Audi of America CEO Johann De Nysschen says the brand is already drawing more affluent buyers than before thanks to the current A8; with additional movement in that direction expected in the foreseeable future.
He also hinted that the A1, Audi’s smallest vehicle, might eventually make it to the U.S., but that would have to wait until it’s redesigned once more, as the current A1 wasn’t conceived with North America in mind.
[Source: Ward's Auto World]