Audi Says No To Stocking e-tron At Dealerships: Special Order Only

SEP 24 2018 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 117

Admittedly, this doesn’t surprise us in the least.

Outside of Tesla, Nissan and Chevrolet, very few automakers seem willing to stock electric cars on dealership (Tesla stores) lots here in the U.S., so news of Audi opting for special-order only for the etron is not unexpected.

Audi of America President Scott Keogh attempts to downplay this news and spin it into an advantage, but in all honesty, his words don’t sway our opinion.

Basically, Audi wants to be cautious with the e-tron, which seems to indicate to us that it will be a money loser for the automaker. But here’s what Keogh states:

I think it would be a beautiful world if you can go to a dealer — and we’d like to find that beautiful world — with zero floorplan [expense] and proper, full gross on the car. This would be a beautiful state; so let’s go see if we can find this dream state.

The same network that got us to double our sales, and got us to 200,000 units [annually], is going to be the same network that’s going to lead this electric revolution for us. And that’s a massive competitive advantage — an onboard and engaged network.

All of this comes off sounding rather odd to us. In fact, Keogh basically told Automotive News that the idea is to limit back-end costs to sell electric vehicles for a profit.

Audi e-tron buyers will be able to place an order at all 303 U.S. Audi dealers. A $1,000 refundable deposit is required though (online or in-person) and wait times are dependent on demand, which Keogh suggests could be months or even years.

The e-tron officially goes on sale in the U.S. in mid-2019, but if demand is high, delivers could start sometime in 2020 then. Provided the sold e-tron factory in Belgium can crank them out and ship quickly.

We’re thinking this method won’t work well for Audi, as we can’t see buyers willing to wait and wait and…What works for Tesla won’t necessarily work for others.

Interested in building your own e-tron? If so, you can find out more here.

Audi e-tron
23 photos
Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Bram Schot Temporary CEO of AUDI AG and Board Member for Sales and Marketing - presents Audi e-tron

Source: Automotive News

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117 Comments on "Audi Says No To Stocking e-tron At Dealerships: Special Order Only"

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“Audi wants to be cautious with the e-tron, which seems to indicate to us that it will be a money loser for the automaker.” Well, that’s unfortunate. Heck of a compliance car! I hope they sell out far in advance and they figure out how to not lose money selling them.

At $80,000 a sale, if they can’t make it work at that price, again, time to buy Tesla stock.
Remember, this car will get CARB credits too.

Here we go again! Another compliance car showing how serious VAG is .. NOT! And the “losing money” scam again.
OF COURSE YOU WILL LOSE MONEY IF YOU MANAGE TO SELL ONLY A FEW!
Economy of scale 101.

Well Audi is planning to produce 15-20,000 a year. So it won’t be a “compliance car”.

If they’re not stocking in dealerships at all, and they expect waits of months to years, that sounds very much like a “compliance car” to me. I guess technically it won’t be if it’s available everywhere by special order and not just the CARB states, but still, pretty awful of them to make it have such limited availability.

A “Compliance Car” ZER0 Doubt…

Why not? That could certainly be a compliance car. The CARB requirements scale upward so they need to sell more of them in California. Plus they need to meet EU CO2 numbers. Maybe that’s what they need. Some ambitious person should run the numbers.

For the entire world market. Meanwhile, Tesla is selling that many Model 3s a month in the US alone. VAG is not serious and probably won’t be until it’s too late.

More like 60k a year.

So basically what tesla makes in 4 weeks if they go slow

You forgot a zero.

CARB credits are overrated. There is limited demand by law, automakers have already stocked plenty, and legal request by the EPA and the NHTSA challenging them is already filled last month. Who would want to buy credits now if they are at risk of becoming worthless.

Stating the obvious here, but:
Watching EV’s being sold by the traditional automakers is a lesson in how Not to sell cars.
GM has taught us:
-Put in a poor suspension, plastic interior and bad seats.
-Don’t advertise.
-Don’t keep the assembly line running at full capacity.
-Sell ugly colors, faded colors.

Audi:
-Build an EV that doesn’t compete too well with the rest of the lineup.
-Under stock ( BMW too. )
-Sell the car sight unseen.
-And isn’t this car prices a bit high for what it offers?
( Added: No lease info? Only a purchase offer? That may cut demand by more than 60%. Aren’t most Audi’s leased? )

BMW:
-Don’t advertise the car.
-Sell a very high priced car that doesn’t compete with the lineup.
-Sell a “city” car that doesn’t compete with the lineup.

Sure, the CEO’s can go back to the board with a lot of excuses about lack of “demand”, but, they’re doing their best to cut demand.

I don’t know, if I were a share holder it might be time to sell Audi stock and buy Tesla.

Leave BMW out of it.

They advertise their electric cars.

Not sure where you came up with that one.

He does have a VERY good point that the i8 and the i3 in no way compete with any of their gas cars. The Tesla Model 3 takes on the BMW 3 series….the i3 is a weirdmobile not designed to reduce 3 series sales.

BMW i3… the Ultimate Driving Machine! LOL

And BMW sells everyone they can make.

Actually, it’s very well made and is very pleasant to drive. For a city runner, it’s darn close to the Ultimate Driving Machine, if there is such a thing.

E-tron looked half compelling. So, you knew distribution was likely the demand throttle-back.

Eric, I did not understand: “high demand” leading to 2020, instead of 2019, for first deliveries. Why?

Audi risks galvanizing away the customers who are not already on the fence.

A loss? Well, providing specs on battery weight (700kg) already told me they don’t want to sell it. So, no surprise more KWh and less $$ than Tesla are being framed a money-loser. But consider, a competitive price for 95KWh, in 2020, may ballpark $100-125 per KWh. On a $74,000 car, they can’t stack profit above what may be a $12k battery?? I think they can, and this is about more profit in what many will planely judge by this time to be inferior combustion vehicles.

Even if distribution works out, I would be far from convinced long-distance short comings won’t become another way to throttle demand down, for “compliance”.

Yelp Leave the BMW out. They do a i3 ad during the Super Bowl https://youtu.be/f46Eqd3jyIk

Not quite fair w.r.t. GM. They’ve been selling the Volt EREV in every state since 2011 and offer the all-electric Bolt in every state, and they do advertise the Bolt and Volt (primarily targeted marketing). They offer far more than “faded” colors (check out Orange Burst or Shock). They have increased Bolt production capacity twice already. The recycled plastic interior, slim seats, and short-wheelbase ride quality of the Bolt are not my cup of tea either, but honestly nor are they all that different from what you find in a base-model BMW i3. If you want upgrades to the seats, suspension, and interior materials, check out the Volt instead: 100% EV for 90% of the average Joe’s driving, and gas backup for road trips without range anxiety—plus a nicer interior and seats than the Bolt, and smooth, tight ride and handling.

Excuse me while I laugh. So what happened to the legacy automakers mantra “We’re gonna wait and see what Tesla do, and if they prove worthy then we’ll develop a better EV car within a year”. They are all driving down the road to irrelevance.

– “legacy automakers” are selling millions of cars this year. And this won’t change next year, in 5 years, or in 10 years or in 20 years. They’ll keep selling millions of cars, hopefully with an increasingly high ratio of EVs.

Just 5 to 7 years, by then sales will be 50% BEV, and ICE sales will be dropping like a stone.

Or not.
Wait for the next economic crisis on Europe.

The Nokia story”……….

“We’re thinking this method won’t work well for Audi, as we can’t see buyers willing to wait and wait and…What works for Tesla won’t necessarily work for others.”

I can’t think of any European that has bought a car of the lot, that wasn’t used. I only know the USA doing the buy the car of the lot system this extensively.

The interesting question is whether they will stock one for testdrives.

I can’t think of any European that has bought a car he did not test drive before. The way I know it:
You go to several car dealers and test out the cars you are interested in.
You decide on which brand/model you want.
You configure the car to your Liking.
You pick up the car 4 weeks later.

Most I know (Scandinavians) go to one dealer, find a price for a car in the right colour and trim level either at a dealer in the country or is en route. Only car-geeks wait for a build to order.

Yup. I really don’t get the aversion a lot of Americans seem to have to special ordering the car they want. It seems a lot of people would rather settle for a configuration and/or colour that they don’t want when they’re making the second biggest purchase of their lives. Good things come to those who wait. Maybe only adequate ones to those who can’t manage to.

Outside of the almost instant delivery (a couple of days usually) you usually get much greater reductions under the MSRP with lot bought vehicles than you do with special orders. Something that’s unlikely to happen with the E-Tron.

“will be a money loser for the automaker.”
If they sell 1000 per year that is a guarantee. Are they afraid this will sell better than their gassers if it gets more exposure?

The problem with dealers in the US and Canada is that they’ve manged to get the automaker to rent space on the dealer’s lots (with a minimum number of months). This was done to end the debate on automakers sending too many vehicles (i.e. operate the factory at full speed and use the dealer lots as buffers).
So it seems that given the EV’s high cost to build makes it hard to make a profit, they need to cut out unnecessary costs, like renting lot space.
Hence, the special order status.

It all makes sense if you know how the relationships work. You should stop trying to make the automaker look like the bad guy here.

Built in numbers, EVs cost LESS than ICEVs

Not yet. $50k for the Model 3 is not less than ICE equivalent. But hopefully soon.

The negative posts here are not warranted. The 20k production is world wide, not just USA and Audi cannot afford to put stock in all its US dealerships and then wait and see if some (outside California) just languish with no customers. This way they will go where they are wanted.

The 20K is not world wide. Norway has about 10K just in preorders.
There is no need to keep a lot in stock, so they have cars for sale i Nebraska, and demand in California for examples.
20K is what they may produce the rest of this year.

No, I doubt it. I think they’ll get the price down to a level where they cost just a little bit more. Perhaps they can be cheaper than ICE if you get one with less than 100 miles range. But a 200 to 300 mile range EV is just damn hard to build for cheap.

BEV saves $1000 on power train. A few thousand for a performance power train. But the fuel tank costs $10k.

In the US and Canada, dealerships sell what’s on the lot. If Audi wanted to sell lots of these, they would stock them.

If Audi can sell all of its production without having them stocked they will earn more money.

And why would a dealer remotely try to sell this e-tron? They have loans paying for their on-premises inventory. They are very, very, very motivated to do everything to move those ZmaugMobilen and not something that will pay them almost nothing.

Finances: Moving metal on the lot: higher return on invested capital. They have $X capital, can take out net loans up to $Y which is a function of $X. They pay interest on $Y. The more transactions they can turn given that maximum inventory constraint $Y, the more money they make.

Why would they ever pay their own good money to even buy one inventory unit to test drive, to convince a customer to buy the wrong thing that has little future service revenue?

F150, you’re the bad guy here.

Then why do Audi stealerships keep gas and diesel cars in stock?

Well, this certainly solves the problem I mentioned in the other thread!

Audi dealers, and probably Audi HQ, are worried that if they put BEVs in showrooms people who are pre-wired to ignore BEVs will become interested. And once interested they might want a test drive. And if the test drive opens their mind that BEVs are awesome, they’ll probably want to go test drive a Tesla while they’re at it. And that’s definitely NOT what Audi wants.

Audi will let you order their BEV if you’re bound and determined to do so. Otherwise they’ll pretend BEVs don’t exist. And even if they do exist, they’re really awful. Uncool. Inconvenient. Basically just toys. Not something you’d want. Trust us.

Where did he say there won’t be an e-tron on the show floor? He said you can’t buy it off the lot. These are two different things. This is how Tesla sells cars. You can see them in the showroom but you order to get them.

It’s not enough to have one on the show floor. You need to drive it. The Audi e-tron is basically just a Q5. There isn’t anything interesting in it that would compel “joe average” to buy one over an ICE vehicle, particularly since it’s a lot more expensive than that Q5.

So what they’re apparently trying to do is snag the people who already want an EV without disturbing their ICE customers and potentially turning them into EV customers. This is a self defeating strategy, I think.

e-Tron is closer to Q7 and Q8 than Q5, as it is clear that the modular components come from new A6+ line while Q5 uses smaller A4 line of components.

Secondly, what Audi seems to be doing in States is just the norm in Europe. They have some cars in showroom, and a few more outside for test drives. Customer test drive a version they want, configure their car online or with the salesman, and after doing the paperwork dealer finally does the order to manufacturer’s systems. At this point you get production slot (week). It takes at minimum 3 months from order to delivery, even if there are no queues.

To me this is the only right way because it allows customer to get exactly the spec one wants.

e-Tron is closer to…..not here. We’re going to see 50 more Audi stories, get peppered with the R8, and keep going back and forth about this vapor. Audi sits back and laughs (those not in prison), just like they did their award winning “Lean NOx Trap”. The prosecution keeps going.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/business/germany-volkswagen-bmw-daimler-eu.html

+1

“What works for Tesla won’t necessarily work for others.”

It might not work for Tesla again either (at least not to the same extent as Model 3). This was going to be the first no-compromise, affordable, mass-produced EV. No other EV will generate the same kind of excitement.

There is a compromise. It’s a sedan when SUVs are the big thing. Model Y will be bigger than the Model 3 is.

Plus FSD is going to to change everything. That should be ready right about the time the Model Y deliveries start.

FSD is still a pipe dream, and it’s not like all the other manufacturers are standing around not investing in self driving technology either. AND those that are will probably be able to buy an off the shelf kit from Mobileye (the people that made AP1, which is only now being surpassed by Teslas own in house system) at about the same time.

The Model Y will also be coming out in a totally different market. By late 2012/2022 most major manufacturers will have at least one or two direct competitors to the Y already available (or at least released) and even if they are each only manufactured in the low tens of thousands that’s still a few hundred thousand vehicles in total. Much more choice for people – especially if the one to two year wait would be required to receive the Y after first production (like the 3) is still present.

Conversely the 3 was announced as a $35k long range vehicle in a market with no “cheap” long range competition. The Y will sell well, but it’s unlikely it’ll have the same pre order numbers as the 3.

FSD isn’t a pipe dream. It’s right around the corner. 2 years ago, Tesla posted a video of a model X doing FSD taking someone to work, and it handled it almost perfectly (it stopped briefly after turning a corner, for no apparent reason. Minor glitch?). Plus they’ve got a couple hundred thousand cars driving around now all collecting data. Tesla is now the world leader in accumulated AP driving data. No one else comes close.

Having technology that is 97% there is still VERY FAR AWAY from being a real world thing:
1) That last 3% is much harder than than the first 97%
2) There are huge legal issues to be resolved.
3) There are huge insurance & legal liability issues to be resolved.
4) There are big consumer acceptance issues to be resolved.

It DEFINITELY WILL HAPPEN. But just not as fast as people think.

1 – The “long tail” is a thing, but I don’t think it’s as extreme as you’re making it out here.
2 – Not all legal issues will be resolved, or even realized, before this happens. Public demand will force lawmakers to get the necessary laws in place, which will be revised over time like any other law.
3 – Well, there is really only one insurance question: In the case of an accident, who is at fault, and who pays? I’m sure working through that one question isn’t going to take that long. That’s why god invented insurance adjusters.
4 – Consumer acceptance isn’t a problem. Consumer OVER acceptance is already the problem – people are pushing Tesla autopilot beyond what it’s designed for, adding steering wheel weights to avoid the “grab it” nag. Once full self driving is available, people will jump on it with both feet.

I don’t thisk the public is clamoring for robocars

Lol 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂. You so gullible. FSD is like 15 years away for mainstream consumers.

Unfortunately FSD also requires regulation, not just the technology (which is still a few years away for proper level 4/5 stuff, possibly excluding Waymo – who are the world leaders in this).

I was eagerly awaiting the cross country drive pitched for last year, but since that was announced it’s become obvious that Tesla are still a long way away from it, along with pretty much everyone else. I’m thinking 3-5 years before the first non fleet/taxi based vehicle (Waymo, Uber, Ford, GM etc) is released with proper L4 technology and regulation allows it to actually drive itself.

Meh….The Model S was supposed to have a $50K version….they didn’t hit it and its largely a $70K and higher car.

The Model 3 was supposed to be a $35K base car…they haven’t hit it and sell a nice $49K car. Maybe they’ll get it down to low $40s.

Hopefully they’ll get down to lower prices. But they are doing better than anyone else at making the EV a mass market car. The sales numbers prove it.

There was a 40 kWh Model S for about $50k, but no one bought it. Everyone optioned up, so they dropped it.

Yes…..so they claim.

Yes, so they claim. If you are going to claim otherwise, I hope you have some kind of evidence to back it up. The claim I’m referring to is that no one bought it. I remember seeing the 40 kWh version myself on their website, when I bought my P85+. So it really did exist. Whether they pulled it because no-one wanted it, or for some nefarious reason, well, you can speculate if you want. I’ll take them at their word until I have some reason to doubt them.

It was not profitable. It was a huge money-loser. It was not sold for the exact same reason the $35K base Model 3 is not being sold.

One things for certain, there is plenty of interest in the $35k Model 3. Even if you option it, there will be plenty who are happy with the SR battery and spend that $9k LR money on other options.
So not many basic $35k might be sold, but plenty of SR with options will most definitely be sold. 210mi range is plenty for a lot of people.

It was produced and sold, though not in great numbers. They pop up occasionally used.

Yeah they claim that crap. People wanted it but they discontinued them

That tells us pretty much everything we need to know about this car and Audi’s commitment to selling it. They are probably not going to be making a profit on it. So they’ll wind up selling 200 per month or less. That’s my guess based on this news.

They are making 200 a day and those will be sold.

200 a day at 261 work days a year is 52,200 units. They’re only going to be making half that, at best. We’ll see if they maintain sales. They will sell some, for sure, but will that number register on sales charts? Doubtful.

They are already producing at that number. They did so two weeks before the unveiling.

> They are already producing at that number. They did so two weeks before the unveiling.

I’ll believe it when I see it. Why if they are being produced now are they not hitting the market until next year

Oh Boy. Here we go again with the Special Order Only. If there are no cars at the lot, what’s the point of dealerships then?

Service, test drive, order, finance, delivery etc

That’s right. I forgot that we need a dealership to mark up the cost of those service to us.

Service – it’s an EV. You’re not buying wheels from the dealer, are you?
Test Drive – Will the dealer actually have a test drive unit available?
Order – Won’t people just order online? When you order in a Tesla Store, all you actually do is order online at a computer at the back of the store.
Finance – Do people really finance through the dealer? I’ve never known anyone who does that… everyone goes to a bank or credit union to arrange an auto-loan.
Delivery – Fine.

Service – It’s a motor vehicle. It NEEDS servicing. The drivetrain is more reliable but the rest of the technology and moving parts are just the same and just as (un)reliable as any ICE vehicle. Outside of an oil change the servicing requirements of an EV are the same as the servicing requirements of an ICE until you start fgoing over 100,000 miles (change engine coolant for battery coolant for example, otherwise brakes, steering, suspension, rust etc etc.).

Order – Sure, some people will (and do), but most people still prefer the personal touch, even if it involves dealing with salespeople. That’s basically all you do at a normal dealership too. Most manufacturers let you configure your vehicle online already, but it doesn’t seem that popular an option as the majority of people still do it at a dealer.

Finance – I think most people finance through dealers/the manufacturer, although I can’t find specific stats on it atm.

It’s worth noting to that 79% of new car buyers are satisfied with the dealership experience. Yes, it’s slated among Tesla buyers and insideEV commenters but outside of these small groups most people are happy with the process.

https://b2b.autotrader.com//agame/pdf/2016-car-buyer-journey.pdf

To provide people with help in ordering their vehicle, what options there are and then to deal with the car once it’s arrived.

The idea of hundreds of new vehicles on a lot that you can just pick from is a North American specific thing. Most other countries will have a couple of dozen demo models people can look at/test drive before ordering their vehicle.

Having to special order may also be beneficial for prices as well. If it’s an in demand vehicle dealers may just buy a dozen each and try and sell over MSRP, knowing the buyer has little ability to order at MSRP as production is going straight to dealers.

As far as I can tell it remains that Nissan and Tesla are the only automakers manufacturing anything other than compliance cars in small volume.

Jaguar is going to be producing relatively many I-Paces, for the size of their total sales (which are not large).

Actually the I-Pace production is planned to be higher than the current F-Pace production.

I think companies like Jag will benefit the most from this EV change. They only make small numbers anyway, so moving to a slightly higher priced EV, that becomes cheaper as battery prices decrease, means more margins. Except for the Audi faithful, anyone looking for that sized/type EV will probably see the iPace very favorably and pull the trigger on it.
Audi and MB are actually doing Jag a favour because their weak offering points smart people towards the Jag.

And Tesla was until the last quarter losing big amounts of money.
At current sales, there is not even close, place for 10 big car makers to build EVs, it would be a bloodbath of losses.

Per example Ford F150 alone and just in the US is going to sell close to 1 million, and profit margins must be very good for Ford. Why would they want to accelerate the transition to EVs? Let others do the hard work…. Obviously sometimes that kind of strategy fails :).

Sounds like Audi is all puffery and no substance when it comes to EV’s.

It’s interesting how media (and people in general) is extremely biased when it’s about cars, more when it’s about EVs.
There are many people waiting 2 or 3 years for a Tesla, that was for some a sign that Tesla couldn’t build cars, for others an amazing demand.
Now the same have completely different position when other maker do exactly the same.
What Audi, BMW, Mercedes, … and most makers are doing is very similar. Japanese (except Nissan that is more Renault than anything else) are even getting later to the show. It can be that all of them are wrong, they are a bunch of morons and will fail completely in the transition to the electric cars…. It can also be the case where they are not a bunch of morons and are carefully doing the right stuff to keep on being relevant.

So far it seems only Renault and Nissan is making money out of EVs and if that’s true, installed car makers would be really dumb to do a big push on something that would cause them to lose money…. Obviously money lost now can be money earned in the future…. Time will tell.

It’s the same at Ford. Try to find a Focus Electric or a Fusion Energi in stock, much less charged… I tried to look at a 2017/8 Focus electric but there were zero within 250 miles of me. Told the salesman to call me should one ever show up; been over a year. I bought a competitor in the mean time and will happily show him should he ever call.

I’m in Europe. I didn’t even know there was still an electric version of the Focus. Here it’s not sold anymore.

Where did you get the fact that they will be losing money or that the deliveries could be years late?
Why assume all carmakers are incompetent? Audi showed no signes of that in their humble 108 years of history.

If they’re not afraid of losing money, why this “no cars for you” strategy? There is nothing compelling about the Audi Etron, particularly over the Q5, other than the fact that it’s an EV. So unless you’re already in the market for an EV specifically, the eTron isn’t going to win you over.

What they need to do is produce a car that is more compelling than their ICE equivalents, and they don’t want to do that because that will cannibalize their ICE line. They seem to be trying to skim off the buying public that are already looking for EVs without inadvertently turning any ICE customers into EV customers. That’s going to bite them.

What’s your idea of compelling? I’m guessing its the same “super fast acceleration, higher top speed” argument as most other people?

It’s basically an EV Q5/6/7 (including acceleration and top speed), that’s a good thing in most peoples books. It far more compelling to the average buyer than something that doesn’t look like an Audi, doesn’t drive like an Audi and doesn’t behave like an Audi.

It’s not going to win over the performance enthusiast, but then they can go and buy a Tesla, if they were ever considering buying a mid sized SUV/CUV in the first place.

The only negatives are cost and range, but then that’s fundamental problem related to BEV at the moment, which is seen in virtually all EV’s today (including arguably the Model 3).

In this article and the source article I see nowhere that it states “no car for you” or even hints at it. Pay the $1k deposit and you can order the vehicle…..did I miss something!?

This kind of move can give one the feeling that they are putting out money-losing EVs only in limited quantities with the intention of slowing/stopping Tesla.

This article gives you that feeling and nothing else.

Boutique EVs….

With limited supply the US customers have to compete with customers in markets that are build to order anyways. The build to stock model is a North American abnormality that seems to be on the way out.

Well I couldnt afford the car to begin with so it does not matter to me one way or the other. But by their decision you can tell they dont have much faith in their model and electric cars and trucks in general.

It will be a Money Loser because they will by their parts at Premium Prices from different Suppliers , Unlike Tesla who Makes The Vast Majority of their own Parts in house & Keeps All The Profits in house Where they Belong..

Sounds like a plan. Offer a limited site unseen vehicle with a refundable 1000$ deposit, than have the customer wait an prolonged time (e.g. two years). Works excellent for Tesla all the time, they practically invented it.
However, Audi execs are missing a small detail. Such a plan works with a new model as long as there is no compelling offer available elsewhere, like, say, the local Tesla store, where a variety of models with superior specs can be had with just a few weeks wait time now. That practically leaves only customers loyal to the Audi brand and some folks that don’t want a Tesla for some reason other than affordability, as the Audi is similar priced.
On the other hand, Tesla will likely be able to pull another reservation record, when they introduce the new Model Y in March 2019

People won’t want a Tesla Because they Are the Safest Cars ON The Planet , Plus.. 1) Have they a Fast Charging Infrastructure all over the Planet,.2) They are too Quick , 3) The Battery Range is Too Long . 4)They are Super Easy On the Eyes , A pleasure to Look at. . 5) Have the Best Handling Ever…I can go on & On ,……lol

Safest cars on the planet if you believe advertising, yet the fatality rate is 3-4 higher than equivalent luxury cars, including Audi. Why is it so?

Doesn’t everyone see? You CAN’T put a model on the lot that kicks the performance behind of your ICE offerings…so you make it look…odd. You prevent test drive comparison. You do everything you can to slow down the EV revolution thus maximizing your ICE sales as long as possible. What happens if you TRULY come out with a compelling model ASAP? Not only do you relegate your entire fleet as incompetent, you also instill the idea that investing in an ICE car is investing in a rapidly depreciating product, possibly worthless in 5-7 years regardless of condition. You MUST keep that a slow transition. I wonder how dealerships feel about this? Essentially corporate is COMPETING FOR SALES with dealers. I can just see a salesman now…no, no, don’t buy this car from us. Go home and order an EV online, but please use my salesman code? Legacy Auto has HUGE problems…trying to shout advantage is trying to control the narrative. I

Here is a problem: Any buyer that walks into an Audi dealership wanting to order the eTron is going to be assaulted by salesmen all trying to sell the person a gasser. With no car to test drive and every sales person in the dealership telling the person that they would be absolutely crazy to buy the eTron…how many people will actually buy it?

People that do their research and know what they want and have probably configured it online already.

Great it already sounds like they’re trying to keep sales slow. Although, they may send dealers a demonstrator or two for test drives, if they don’t, and all you see is promotional materials, then you’ll know how serious they were about the e-tron.

I currently can’t get a test drive of a model 3. So, similar issue?

How does Tesla sell their cars, again?

In a store without a pack of sales people that are FAR more eager to sell a gas car in order to get a commission.

fasterthanonecanimagine

The established automakers are in a catch 22 with their dealerships: They can’t sell ICEs without them, and they can’t sell EVs with them (or else they would have to grant them such high margins to compensate for the lack of EV service business that their EVs would become loss centers). If they can’t find a way around their dealerships, they will be toast.

LOL.
Yeah, western car makers really want to hold back on the EVs. Sad.

Screw u vw

So just like Tesla.

Audi is making the same mistake as the other German automakers. Trying to sell EVs the way they sell ICE vehicles. Offering a big heavy, clumsy SUV, for those who need to haul around a lot of people and their stuff makes sense for an old-school ICE vehicle to get higher margins. However, improved performance, aerodynamics, driving dynamics, and the range is what matters with an EV. Certainly, they can see with the EV King, Tesla, that SUVs are their slowest selling model, and the highest ‘demand’ EV is the 4 door sedan.

So why are the Germans going the opposite direction? Simply because they don’t have the battery production capacity, manufacturing capacity, or EV manufacturing experience to offer a higher volume EV. So with these big SUVs being their ‘flagship’ EVs, their next EVs should be offered after they have some experience with producing EVs.

“…and wait times are dependent on demand, which Keogh suggests could be months or even years.”
I see this as a very optimistic statement. I read this as Audi looking for reservation numbers (maybe not as highly) like Tesla, where production is outstripped by demand. It will be interesting to see how that goes, but unlike Tesla, I think buyers will be less picky if it comes to an Audi vs another brand, they will buy the EV that is available rather than wait.

“with zero floorplan [expense] and proper, full gross on the car.”

This is why Tesla doesn’t have or want dealerships. They just add expense, like floorplan financing on top of the purchase price, and are notoriously negative about EV’s. If the e-tron were going out the door as fast as Model 3’s, nobody would be talking about floorplan financing for while the car was in stock at the dealership. See story about Jag dealer next to Tesla store.

This must be a US situation only.. . In Norway they will have them at the dealers. Normally a car with all extra and another one as a test vehicle.
People will normally order the car to their specifications at the dealer or online by themselves, and wait a few days up to a few weeks to get their vehicle.
The dealer does not have to lock up capital by having to pay for x-number of cars on the lot, and the customer gets what they want. Some people will still but what they have in the store/lot. About 20% never even test the vehicle. If they owned a Golf or a Corolla/Auris they just order a new one when it’s time to replace the vehicle.

I don’t know why people expect for electric car sales to be mass volume right now when most electric cars on the market are hatchbacks that are over $35,000 in price ( on par with a mainstream gasoline crossover SUV, which is selling like hotcakes), and the only appealing electric cars on the market, the Tesla lineup, cost at least 40 grand, and even then, that’s for a small sedan. In a climate were SUVs are king in sales, Audi has the right idea to make an electric SUV… but unless this thing has at least a 300-mile range, I don’t imagine it’s going to be that big of a seller. So they really aren’t doing anything wrong with seeing how it does before they go full in and mass produce it. The Tesla Model X sells the way it does because of it being so gimmicky, decently technologically-advanced, and it having a Tesla badge. But even still, it’s nowhere near as high-volume in sales as, say, an Audi Q7, and still way far less in sales when compared to the Lexus RX. So fact of the matter is, until electric becomes cheaper, get higher ranges, and are advertised better… Read more »

LMAO. They have absolutely no idea. The OEM’s are running around like headless chooks since Tesla came along.