As part of it’s response to meet tougher Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets, Audi of America, logically is looking to diesels, at least in the short term to improve its overall fleet mileage.
The US arm of the Ingolstadt automaker plans to bring over oil burning versions of the Q5 SUV and A8 flagship sedan next year, however the A6 diesel has now been pushed back, along with the planned introduction of the A6 an A8 Hybrid models.
In the case of the latter, Audi’s US President, Johann De Nysschen says that the pushing back the A6 and A8 Hybrids was largely done to “minimize complexity” in the lineup, since Audi is already planning to introduce a Q5 Hybrid for 2012.
As to why the A6 diesel has been delayed, no official word so far, but given that the mid-size premium sedan segment is largely a stagnant market in the US and most of Audi’s sales gains (14.1 percent so far this year) have essentially been at the expense of rivals, perhaps the time simply isn’t right to introduce yet another new model. That said, Audi’s German rivals, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are also reporting increased demand (4.1 percent for the E-Class and a whopping 46.4 percent through the first 10 months of this year).
During a recent statement at the LA Auto Show, De Nysschen also said that a diesel A7 Sportback is a possibility for North America, though in reference to rumors of a possible local production facility he said “no official decision has been made.”
[Source: Ward’s Auto]