I had the pleasure of visiting the USA headquarters of Audi the other day. I’ve never driven an Audi, so I hopped on the opportunity to drive around in one of the top luxury auto brands in the country. The most I knew about Audi was that their car emblem resembled the famous Olympic symbol and that they made cool concept cars. On the lot for me to drive were two compact SUVs (Q5, SQ5) and a 2 door coupe (A5).
The visit started off with a presentation by Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America, and an introduction to the newly remodeled vehicles. Scott explained how Audi fit into the compact SUV market, as it related to their Q5 vehicles, and then also remarked on the growth of the company as a whole, over the last 5-7 years.
Audi is the car choice of Generation X & Generation Y, and Keogh confirmed that strategic product placement in several Marvel comic movies (Tony Stark aka Iron Man) attributed to the company’s success. 2017 marked the largest product launch cadence in Audi history. Over the next 18 months, Audi will introduce 14 new models or improved versions of their current models to the public.
Anthony Garbis, Audi Product Manager, shared with the group that the Q5 showed 111% sales growth from 2010 to 2016, making it the company’s best-selling Audi model. That’s pretty impressive considering the other luxury compact SUVs on the market. It may be due to its class leading engine that has 32 horsepower, 15 lb ft torque and goes from 0 to 60mps in 5.9 secs.
With its variable torque distribution and proactive quattro technology, the Q5 has the ability to decide if FWD or RWD is necessary and does so seamlessly.
In the rare case I get to speak with someone within the company I am writing about, I like to get a feel on how they came to work for the company. As mentioned earlier, Anthony Garbis did a great presentation on the Q5 and sQ5 earlier in the day. It was when I joined him after lunch that I really understood just how deep his admiration for the brand he works for really is. He admitted that he loved cars since he was a baby, and even at a young age grew to appreciate and love Audi. Most individuals that I speak with explain to me how they acquired the position by bouncing from other jobs. Garbis started with Audi. This brand is in his blood. He boasted (rightfully so) about his suite of Audi vehicles at home, and shared with me that this wasn’t a job to him, it was a dream come true. He got paid to do what he loved!
I stress this practice to my kids almost daily, do what you love. I want them to work towards a career that is fulfilling to them. Too often we go into careers for reasons that aren’t tied to anything we desire, it’s refreshing to see someone follow their dreams and make it work for them.
As a whole, everyone that we met with that day, that represented Audi, was very cordial and eager to answer any questions we had about the cars and trucks in their portfolio.
What Mommy Learned
The biggest take away and what I already knew was that younger generations (ages 30-35) are turning towards Audi as their top choice in luxury car brands. Audi wants the public to know that they’ve revamped their image, and I must say I LIKE!!! For a family vehicle, I’d definitely consider it if I didn’t have 6 people to seat. The car felt safe to drive, and still made me feel like a “cool kid”.
I’d love to get my hands on the Q7 for a few days to see how it holds up to my family. What sets the Audi apart, functionally, from other brands, like the Mazda CX-9 I reviewed a few weeks ago.
Can Audi tackle luxury and functionality in the Q7? I’d like to know.
Below are some pictures I took from the event! If you’re interested in more information about Audi, check out their website: http://www.audi.com! You’ll find tons of resources!