Audi PR Loses Its Mind Over Tesla Model S (UPDATE: Audi pulls post from net…but we still have it)

MAY 21 2013 BY JAY COLE 7

In April, Audi Sold 1,462 Of Its Flagship A8, A Couple Hundred Less Than Tesla Averaged With The Model S In The First Quarter Or 2013

In April, Audi Sold 1,462 Of Its Flagship A8, A Couple Hundred Less Than Tesla Averaged With The Model S In The First Quarter Or 2013

Quite possibly on their way out of the office last Friday, the Audi PR department put out a “hit” on the Tesla Model S, by penning an article entitled:

Not so fast to put Tesla on that particular pedestal

In a nutshell, before turning out the lights for the weekend, Audi was trying to get ahead of a CNNMoney article that says the Tesla Model S is outselling many of the larger, more established nameplates’ high end vehicles, or in Audi’s case, the A8.

Even If The Audi Media Department Got Their Fact-Checking Right, Is This The Kind Of PR That Is Good For The German Company?

Even If The Audi Media Department Got Their Fact-Checking Right, Is This The Kind Of PR That Is Good For The German Company?

And while Audi makes some salient points, most specifically that the title of CNN’s piece “Tesla sales beating Mercedes, BMW and Audi” is giving consumers the impression that the Model S, as a single car, is outselling the entire Audi lineup (which it is not), the whole Audi retort to a 3rd party news story reeks of the high road not taken.

Audi is fighting the wind here if you will.  And not doing a particularly decent job of it.

Why would the 104 year old company (the last 47 as a subsidiary of VW) want to even comment on this piece?  And why so heavy handed, calling into question Tesla’s long-term viability?

“To be sure, Tesla has been riding a boom in investor and consumer interest based on its apparent ability crack the code for EV sales with its $70,000-and-up Model S.  But while Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has raised Model S sales estimates for 2013 to 21,000 units, the brand faces a number of long-term issues that also were noted this week by American press.”

But more than all of this, should not Audi do a little fact-checking of their own before calling out someone else on responsible journalism?

“But the fact is that Tesla’s reported sales of 4,750 units of its Model S electric car in April were less than half of Audi of America sales of 13,157 vehicles in the month, which represented a 16-percent rise from a year earlier. BMW and Mercedes-Benz sold even more than that.”

Fact is, Tesla likely only sold a little more than a third the number of Model S electric sedans that the German company reported for them in April, as Audi used an old Tesla sales estimate of 4,750-odd cars for the first quarter as a jumping off point for their statement; that is of course before Tesla reported actual sales of 4,900 sold during the first three months of the year a couple weeks ago.

One would assume if Audi was going to get the first three months of the year confused with April, they would at least use actual Tesla sales results somewhere in the calculation.  Also, of interest Audi only sold 467 A8s in April of 2013, not the 1,462 they mention in the press release…that is actually their sales from January to March.

Basically, the Audi intern (who we can assume wrote this press release) wanted to turn the tables on the California start-up, and use Audi’s April sales of all their models to compare to Tesla’s Model S sedan’s single April sales result (which aren’t publicly available) to illustrate itheir point, but ended up using a two month old estimated data point for the 1st quarter in lieu of any actual figures that might make the comparison somewhat poignant.

/countdown to a retraction in 3, 2, 1 …

Checkout Audi’s press release for yourself here.

UPDATE:  Audi has since pulled the press release, but no worries as we have serious OCD issues and cache everything we see in print…full release is below for your perusal.


Audi's Press Release Knocking Tesla...Now Available Only Through The Magic Of InsideEV's Cache (click to enlarge)

Audi’s Press Release Knocking Tesla…Now Available Only Through The Magic Of InsideEV’s Cache (click to enlarge)


Categories: Audi, Tesla


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7 Comments on "Audi PR Loses Its Mind Over Tesla Model S (UPDATE: Audi pulls post from net…but we still have it)"

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Audi knows the A8 is getting a beating from the Tesla Model S, that’s why as soon as Tesla released 1st qtr sales numbers, Audi announced they are thinking about a A9.

The fact remains that the Tesla Model S EV is the perfect $70k+ luxury car, since most anyone who can afford it, already has a gasoline luxury suv as a backup for the really long road trips, so they don’t have to think about charging.

The US is a snapshot of what is to happen globally as Tesla launches around the world.

BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi should be afraid….very afraid. Or go EV.

Re: BMW, … should be afraid….very afraid. Or go EV.
Are you not following the news on BMW? Ton of articles on the i3 and i8.

Let me see… BMW is coming out with another mediocre EV with crazy styling, small range and long charging times. Yes, Tesla should be very afraid of this competition! (end sarcasm).

BMW and Audi are both decade behind Tesla in _desirable_ electric car development.

One of the quotes of Gandhi seems to get applicable here – “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

BMW has moved in to the EV world and I’m proud of them for that, MB like Toyota are slowly getting there, Audi/VW first afraid to act now kicking and screaming all the way.

Since all these surveys show VW as a LEADER OF ELECTRIC CAR MANUFACTURERS (i have yet to see one plug in VW product around here), since they are a leader why doesn’t VW come out with a Tesla Beater?

I’m sure they have the ability to come out with a 100-130 kwh Luxury EV, and if they want to shoehorn in a 1 or 2 cylinder emergency generator and gas tank as well, lets have it.

This whining by the marketing people is best done from a stronger position. The proposed car in the last paragraph would strengthen their position. Where they are now though, it seems their Sour Grapes is going to lose sales to Tesla, and possibly Cadillac’s ELR.

We are witnessing the power struggle between electric advance and old days petrol engine cars. The force is starting to act, the pain is getting unbearable, now the odds are clear, either they resist and perish under the technology march or they turn around and adapt to the new given and start going electric on their turn. There is no middle way or half measure, they have to perish or advance in the ranks of the new world car order. Audi, and the whole VW and proxies’ surroundings, start to look like a magnificent and glorious ship, but one called the Titanic because of an electric Iceberg called Tesla starting to cut at their most profitable high rank cars before sinking the rest of it, perhaps with a little help from Nissan and others.