Et Tu, Audi?
U.S. buyers will pay premium for new diesel models
As recently announced, if you want to buy one of the new Audi diesels here in the States, you're going to pay more in the way of -- you guessed it -- a premium.
What's the reasoning behind this? American consumers have been notoriously slow to get behind diesels, so how is making them pay more for diesel vehicles going to increase support? And it's not like there's zero market for them: Audi's first diesel, the Q7 crossover, is expected to reach 35 percent penetration in the U.S.
Granted, the Audi's premium isn't meant to be punitive: The company has had to sink more money into ramping up its vehicles to meet U.S. diesel-emissions standards (which are stricter than in Europe) and, as de Nysschen notes, they're not completely recouping that investment. However, European standards are set to increase, anyway, so why wouldn't Audi think of the money it sinks into U.S. emissions compliance as part of a larger investment in meeting tightening standards across marketplaces? If it passes muster in the U.S., it will pass the less-strict standards in Europe (where diesels account for a whopping 50 percent of all vehicles on the road) now, and in the future. So why charge American consumers more to help them get to where they'll need to be anyway?
Note that the company has been pushing a pro-diesel marketing campaign pretty heavily in the States; see the video, below, which in June appeared on the home pages of The Huffington Post, Slate and Politico (last month, the company also promoted some of its new diesel vehicles online at The New York Times and here on MSN.com, as well as on television during the season premiere of "Mad Men" on AMC).
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