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Thursday, February 10, 2022

Audi Set To Discontinue A1, Q2

Audi will phase two of its smallest vehicles, the A1 and the Q2, as the automaker focuses on more profitable, larger luxury vehicles.

The A1 hatchback and Q2 crossover will not be replaced when their current lifespans end, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann told German business paper Handelsblatt in an interview.

Audi’s parent, Volkswagen Group had redefined the role of the group’s individual brands, realigning Audi in its premium status, Duesmann said.

“We will limit our model range downward and expand it upward,” Duesmann said. “We are prioritizing other segments.”

The A1 was introduced in 2010 and it shares a VW Group platform with the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza small hatchbacks. The second-generation A1 went on sale in 2018.

Meanwhile, the Q2 was introduced in 2016 as the smallest member of Audi’s Q family of SUV/crossovers. It is aimed at buyers of luxury cars, who want a practical vehicle for inner cities where parking is scarce.

Audi sold 56,883 units of the A1 in Europe last year, down 1 percent on 2020, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers. Sales of the Q2 fell 6 percent to 53,183.

Because of the ongoing semiconductor bottlenecks, the VW Group, like other automakers, is using the available chips in more profitable models whenever possible.

“In the group, we try to secure the overall result. That is why we prioritize models with a higher profit share,” Duesmann said.

Duesmann said he expects an improvement in semiconductor supply during the year.

Audi competitors BMW and Mercedes-Benz are also building the available chips primarily into the expensive models and have also been focusing more on the profitable upper class and luxury cars in general for some time. Both automakers are expanding their range in these segments.

Duesmann also repeated Audi’s plan to develop full-electric luxury flagship sedan based on its Grandsphere concept that will have a spacious interior, new electrical system and new software.

“We are on schedule and will bring the model to the road in 2025,” he told Handelsblatt. “After that, there will be other models on the platform, including variants at Bentley and Porsche.”

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