Audi E-Tron Ad Takes Jab At Tesla CEO Elon Musk

4 months ago by Chris Bruce 34

Does it make sense to reference a future rival that is already proven in the market?   Especially as a company that doesn’t yet offer a competitive product?

Audi has ads for the E-Tron Sportback concept on display in Berlin, and the poster features a cheeky message playing on Elon Musk. The Audi City Berlin showroom now features a massive sign on its outside with the message Musk Have, and it implores people to check out the Four Rings’ own idea for an electric crossover at the recent Formula E visit to the city.

Directly evoking the Model X when promoting the E-Tron Sportback concept is an aggressive, potentially risky decision. Customers can arrive at Tesla store today and immediately drive away in the firm’s electric crossover. Meanwhile, Audi doesn’t have a competitive model on sale yet, and the electric E-Tron utility vehicle doesn’t arrive from the Germany company until sometime in 2018 – let alone the E-Tron Sportback shown in the ad spot, which isn’t pegged to arrive until 2019.

Audi e-tron Sportback Concept

Again, we know Audi intends to get very serious about EVs in the coming years, with the standard E-Tron Quattro in 2018, then the E-Tron Sportback in 2019.  But from there, the Four Rings will look to add electric variants of the Q8 and Q4 starting around 2020. According to the automaker’s goal, 30 percent of its deliveries will be fully or partially electric by 2025.

Audi’s factory in Brussels, Belgium, will be an early hub for building these electric models. The production E-Tron Quattro will feature a 95-kilowatt-hour battery with a range around 310 miles (500 kilometers). Three electric motors – two in back and one in front – will offer a total of 503 hp (370 kilowatts) during temporary periods of extra output. The ample power will reportedly get the electric CUV to 62 mph (100 kph) in 4.6 seconds.

Official Tesla Model Y Teaser

Tesla’s electric crossover looks to expand in the near future, too. The company is teasing the Model Y (shown above – details here) as a smaller CUV for its range. According to Elon Musk, the model will have a unique platform and will come from a dedicated factory. It’ll reportedly arrive in 2019.

Source: Audi Deutschland via Facebook

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34 responses to "Audi E-Tron Ad Takes Jab At Tesla CEO Elon Musk"

  1. Brian says:

    Musk-Have. Audi-Have-Not.

    1. Alltesla says:

      Tesla, Must-have
      Audi, ought not to-have

      1. mx says:

        But, will people buy something that ugly, and an Audi Electric with no reliability track record?

        1. Alltesla says:

          And no reliable charging infrastructure

          1. Will says:

            YES!
            Audi will do what they need to warranty wise to overcome any shortfalls
            AND have the best interior bar none

          2. John Doe says:

            In Europe, charging is no problem, and will be even easier. But people will need to buy more cars too, so it can be a viable business for companies to add chargers.

            Price, range, quality, brand image, looks and functionality will decide what people will buy.

            There is already a waiting list on the Audi, that is probably bigger then they can deliver in the beginning.
            It will still be a niche product, so I’m not sure how many they will make.
            I do know that the Germans have serious electric goals, and are ramping up factory industrialisation, tooling and automation.

            Some how, I think they will start with a fair production number right from the start.

  2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    They Audi-getta product out soon.

    1. Mikey says:

      The E-Tron looks like a real Audi-ty.

  3. JR says:

    Happy to see some competition the faster the better!

  4. Mil says:

    Elon should take this as a compliment. He’s managed to grab the attention of Audi to such a level that he’s mentioned in their adverts. In a way, it’s Audi’s self confession Elon/Tesla are a big enough threat to make them reference them.

    1. Tyler says:

      Referencing the competition is a standard marketing strategy that conveys that Audi has an inferior market position but borrows some of the good will from Tesla.

  5. AlphaEdge says:

    Many people are not familiar with Elon Musk, so they might see this as a miss-spelling.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Honestly, and without speaking to the ad itself or the article’s take; when I saw the spot run on Audi’s German media feed, I did’t really understand what I was looking at/what the message was (by first thought was it was an unfortunate translation of some German slang, lol)

      …took me a good 2-3 minutes to process what was happening, what Audi was trying to say. Still, not really 100% sure I understand what they were envisioning for the spot.

      1. ROFLOL says:

        Isn’t it obvious? Audi is starting a deodorant line!

        ROFLOL!

      2. ROFLOL says:

        Or maybe that catch phrase is confusing because it’s not complete”: Musk have, we don’t!

        ROFLOL!

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Jay Cole said:

        “Still, not really 100% sure I understand what they were envisioning for the spot.”

        Indeed.

        Okay, I get the pun… altho perhaps I wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been framed in this article. But exactly what message Audi is trying to send here… well, it’s not at all clear to me.

    2. Paul Smith says:

      Anyone interested in an electric SUV will know Musk.

  6. AndreiC says:

    Audi has a very bad reputation in EU. “Some say” that you are better with an Alfa-Romeo, because both are shure to brake, but at least Alfa is beautiful. The realistic person knows that Skoda makes at 1/3 price of an Audi the same lvl of equipped car and 3 times more reliable. Is true if you are as lucky as the person that wins the lottery, and get a perfect working Audi it runs incredible,better then any BMW or Mercedes. Is good that Audi has big EV plans, but I think that plans are only on billboards (paper).

    1. GN says:

      “brake” -> “break”

    2. Chmax73 says:

      “Audi has a bad reputation in EU”…. Where? In Switzerland is among the most sold cars and in Italy is a Status symbol… No Italian will prefer an Alfa rather than an Audi 😉 And you barely see Alfa in Switzerland.
      Anyway, Audi & Co. are late, so they must wake up… NOW!

      1. Mr. M says:

        Musk wake up… 🙂 😀

    3. John Doe says:

      Audi’s reputation is OK in the EU. It does not have the status as a BMW or a Mercedes to everybody – but it is a status sumbol of some kind.

      They are fairly reliable cars, just like VW. Pretty average and way better then Alfa.. which used to be (is?) in a league of it’s own.. together with cars like older Lada, Simca (Horizon), Yugo and so on. Renault used to have a quality (or lack there of) as these brands, just like FIAT. The latter two has improved a lot, especially Renault which are now safe cars with good rust protection.

      SEAT and Skoda used to s*** as well, but improved when VW took over.

      One of the best ways to check the overall quality of a car is how old they are before they are scrapped. I remember where I live a Mercedes and a Volvo used to last 20-21 years before they was scrapped, followed by SAAB and som other brands. Very few of the shitty brands lasted longer then 10 years before they were crushed. Lada used to last 7 years if I’m not mistaken. Just like Simca..

      Somehow I think newer cars will last shorter. Due to the electronics and engines that have to many added features (for the sakes of the environment) that makes them expensive to maintain.

      A friend of mine has a company that use panel vans for transporting goods. They used to last over a million km. Some Toyotas used to last close to two. Now they last about 0.6 million km, before they have to change EGR valves, particle filters, dual mass fly wheels and what not. Cheaper to scrap then repair in a high cost country.

  7. CDAVIS says:

    OP asked: “Does it make sense to reference a future rival that is already proven in the market? Especially as a company that doesn’t yet offer a competitive product?”
    ——

    Answer: NEIN!

    Perhaps it’s a clever Tesla placed ad ahead of the Audi e-tron launch?

    1. randomhuman says:

      Your german is on point. :p
      I’ll give you that. 😉

      But you’re right.

  8. Oh wow, do they even realize they are advertising for Tesla?

    I can see some more heads rolling out the Audi doors.

    1. John Doe says:

      Audi has said before that they see Tesla as the leader in EV, and the one to beat (in short term).
      If we don’t try to beat them, there is no reason for us – as a car manufacturer to exist.

      As of right now that is still the case. We have to wait 3-5 years to see how the competition will be.

      Keep in mind that Tesla is still not making any money, but they are building a brand, and a potentially great company with their solar, battery and expanding EV business.

      Tesla will not feel any real competition from anybody over the next 2-3 years I think.

      Nissan will probable sell a lot of their new EV model, Renault sells quite a few of their modeles, and BMW have good sales too. Even VW sells a lot of their EVs. And they are all investing in new models and technology.

      Many will buy a Tesla, no matter what the others offer anyway.

      We need a company like Tesla, that have the balls to make several models, go into trucking, solar roofs, battery storage and so on. I hope the best for them in the future. At the same time, it is important that other companies can manufacture and develop EV modeles with a profit. Competition is vital, to cut cost, to get better solutions and technoloy in the future.

      Arthur C. Clark said: The only thing that we can be sure of the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic.

      ..as long as people think about the environment. heavy metals, pesticides, resistant bacterias, micro plastics, nano particles like nano silver, reduction of the rain forest, sediments covering coral reefs, global warming and so on.

      We need educated people, making educated choises in the future.
      Idiots are dangerous.

  9. Chris O says:

    It’s amazing how after all these years these companies are still not getting it. The EV market is not a small niche with an increasing number of competitors competing in a zero sum game, it’s a growth market with wild and disruptive potential with loads of sales to be conquered at the expense of gasoline and diesel.

    Of course that message is hard to accept for companies that still consider internal combustion their core business for decades to come.

    Not easy to be successful at this game with that internal combustion mindset. Or maybe these efforts are just an attempt to kill Tesla so everything can be business as usual again? Lucky for us Tesla is a pretty hard target at this point…

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “The EV market is not a small niche with an increasing number of competitors competing in a zero sum game, it’s a growth market with wild and disruptive potential with loads of sales to be conquered at the expense of gasoline and diesel.”

      It’s not a zero-sum game for Tesla and other new auto makers offering EVs, but it certainly is a zero-sum game for legacy auto makers. Someone in the market for a new car is going to buy either a gasmobile or a PEV (Plug-in EV). They are very unlikely to buy both! That’s one of the biggest reason, or perhaps the primary reason, why legacy auto makers are so reluctant to offer EVs which directly compete with their own gasmobiles.

      Every sale of an EV is a sale lost to gasmobile makers… and a thumb in the eye of Big Oil!

  10. cab says:

    Even though I like the A3 e-tron, and am not really a Tesla fanboi, this ad from Audi just strikes me as sad, desperate and obscure…

    The average person won’t get it OR they will look up “Musk” and MIGHT figure it out (at which point Audi has just succeeded in educating the consumer about Tesla). For the EV fans who get it, well, it would be helpful if the car in the ad actually looked better than a Model S….but it doesn’t.

  11. Nix says:

    The funny thing is that this is proof that Musk’s long term strategy is working.

    He knew from the beginning that the EV revolution could never be achieved by just one company.

    Musk also knew that a company needed to ignore everything the ICE car companies had been working on for decades, and start with a brand new top-down approach. That it was impossible to make EV’s a mass-market vehicle by trying to compete with cheap compact cars by offering slow short range EV’s with small batteries and slow chargers like the ICE companies had been working on.

    Now in half a decade of successful Model S sales, Tesla has forced one of the largest ICE companies in the world (VW/Audi) to join Tesla’s Secret Plan in order to try to beat Tesla.

    What Audi is now advertising is exactly what Elon was talking about in his 2006 Secret Plan:

    https://www.tesla.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me

    If it weren’t for Tesla, EV’s would likely be languishing as unpopular sub-100 mile compact compliance cars with a reputation of being slow electric golf carts that take forever to charge and leave you stranded with no charger nearby (AKA — every storyboard for every EV story done by Top Gear).

    Now Audi is being forced to compete head-to-head with Tesla just to keep market share. And even if Tesla eventually loses to the ICE car makers over the next few decades, Elon still wins. He will have successfully done this:

    “This is because the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution.”

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Musk also knew that a company needed to ignore everything the ICE car companies had been working on for decades, and start with a brand new top-down approach. That it was impossible to make EV’s a mass-market vehicle by trying to compete with cheap compact cars by offering slow short range EV’s with small batteries and slow chargers like the ICE companies had been working on.”

      I think you mean, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning realized all that, and founded Tesla Motors to achieve that goal. When Elon joined Tesla, he was converted to the cause.

      I admire Elon Musk for many things, but claiming credit for other people’s accomplishments and ideas isn’t one of those things.

  12. Nix says:

    I actually really like the e-tron sportback and electric quattro. And with all the talk about new 350+ kW chargers that are supposed to get installed in the next year or two, those certainly would open the door to even faster charging than anything on the market today.

    Model 3 reservation holders prove that people are willing to wait 1-2 years for the right car. I don’t see the 1-2 year wait for these Audi’s as a major issue in the grand scheme of things.

    Jump on in Audi, the water is warm.

  13. Just_Chris says:

    OH COME ON! A German company makes a terrible attempt at humour and there is not even one amusing, slightly raisest comment? Is the internet broken?

  14. Martin Winlow says:

    I read it more like a bit of a homage, personally.

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