It’s hard to believe but this is the fourth installment of “Ask AutoGuide.” For an entire month now our certified experts have provided the finest motor-vehicle shopping advice available for the price. Our crack team of automotive oracles has been at our readers’ beck and call for 30 straight days, though admittedly it’s been mostly “beck” since they don’t have phones. We’re still trying to sort out the billing situation to get their Jitterbugs connected again.
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The battle axes are sharpened and starting to swing in Germany between the three largest luxury car makers, as Audi admits for the first time that they plan to sell their compact Q3 SUV in America.
The Volkswagen-based luxury brand has been hinting and teasing the notion that we might get the Q3 on North American soil, but until now there wasn’t any way to be sure. Now Audi has confirmed it will reveal a Q3 “Vail” Concept at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, using the vehicle as part of a larger strategy to overtake BMW as the top-selling luxury brand by 2015.
“The next pillar of the market that we have to conquer is the United States,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said in London on Thursday. “We see opportunities in the SUV and sedan segments.”
Audi has been growing as a brand outside the U.S. but making a more solid footprint in the American market is essential for them to meet their goal. Here in the States BMW and Mercedes still have a strong grip on luxury sales, but by introducing smaller cars, Audi may be able to change that. Along with the Q3, Audi is expected to deliver several versions of its next generation A3, including a sedan.
Another key point in their strategy will be manufacturing cars domestically rather than shipping and therefore significantly limiting availability to consumers, something BMW and Mercedes have already figured out.
It isn’t as easy as flipping a switch, though, according to Stadler, Audi is finally profitable in America, giving them the confidence to go from wading into full swim.
“In the next decade, we will have to think about the next icon in the Audi brand,” Stadler said. Given the strong trend toward smaller, more economy-minded cars, we’re eager to see what he has up his sleeve.
GALLERY: Audi A3 Concept
[Source: Automotive News]
Jeep fans who were up in arms about the Compass and Patriot crossovers will have a no reason to get aggravated; a new video that purports to go inside Jeep’s design studios apparently show a new crossover based on a C-segment Fiat.
Aside from the illustration, we can also see a clay model in the video, suggesting that the car is still pretty early on in the design stage. Truthfully, it doesn’t look bad but we can almost hear the cries from hardcore Wrangler owners and internet pundits who will forever treat this Jeep as an unwanted stepchild.