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Published on February 27th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Audi Exec Claims e-Tron SUV Will Represent “First Real Premium Manufacturer Doing A Premium Electric SUV”

February 27th, 2017 by  

While discussing the release next year of the company’s all-electric e-Tron SUV, a top Audi exec (Dietmar Voggenreiter, sales and marketing boss) commented that the model will represent “the first real premium manufacturer doing a premium electric SUV.”

I guess that the Tesla Model X doesn’t count? Or is just that Tesla isn’t a “real premium manufacturer?” Seems a strange comment to make, as the Model X is very likely to be superior to the Audi e-Tron SUV in every or nearly every way. Though, I guess that some people may agree with Dietmar.

As a reminder, Audi claims that its all-electric SUV will possess a range of more than 500 kilometers (~310 miles) per full charge. It seems very likely, however, based on earlier comments from company execs concerning other models, that this figure is in reference to the not-very-accurate NEDC testing cycle.

Also noteworthy here is that there’s a real chance that Jaguar will beat Audi to market anyways — with the I-Pace very possibly being available for purchase before the Audi e-Tron SUV. In such a case, the statement by Voggenreiter would be doubly untrue.

Another strange comment that he made was: “It’s not our job to invest in charging points. We are pushing and organising this, though, and working with partners on it,” when discussing investments into a pan-Europe fast-charging network.

Perhaps it isn’t “the company’s job,” but there’s no doubt that Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network is one of the company’s main selling points, so maybe this should be an Audi priority. Maybe Audi wouldn’t be losing market share if it had considered superfast charging to be part of “the company’s job.”

Maybe these comments are just the result of English being Voggenreiter’s second language, but they have a quality to them that rubs me the wrong way — the same quality that I hear in statements from Volkswagen company execs when discussing the diesel emissions testing fraud scandal. I would call it the sound of entitlement and arrogance.

Autocar provides more: “The size of the e-tron suggests it’s a Q6 in all but name, but Voggenreiter hinted the Q6 was a separate project altogether. He cited speculation that the Q6 should be a ‘fourdoor coupé SUV’ based on the Q5 in a similar style to the Q8 being spun off the Q7. But he said the e-tron isn’t the Q6, because it’s ‘not a four-door coupé SUV. It’s a sporty SUV’.”

So, what do you think? Have I read something into Voggenreiter’s comments that isn’t there? Or are the comments indicative of an attitude that will lead to Audi losing a lot of market share over the coming years?



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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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