What's Your Problem, Audi?
A1 not headed to America
When we reported that the Audi A1 would, in fact, become reality, it was still up in the air whether or not the compact luxury hatch would head stateside, but I figured "a sleek, gorgeous, luxury hatch with an Audi badge and starting at $22,000 in a U.S. market suddenly interested again in quality small cars is a no-brainer."
Well, apparently it is a brainer: The New York Times Wheels blog is reporting that the A1 will not be coming to the U.S. Audi says the demand would be "too weak."
What. The. Hell.
Could it be? Could Audi be totally missing the mark on this, or -- dare I say it? -- behind the times?
Yes, small cars have been a tricky sell in the U.S. before, but mainly because carmakers by and large made crappy small cars. Domestic and foreign manufacturers alike have gotten into the shrinking act, and when the cars are good, the sales are there; just look at the popularity of the Honda Fit and new Ford Fiesta, or the VW GTI on the higher end of the price spectrum. Even badges that have rarely, if ever, gone tiny are putting out small (or, at least, smaller) options, like Volvo's C30.
What's worse for those who were expecting an A1 on domestic showroom floors: The initial fuel numbers from Audi range from 43 to 61 mpg.
Hey Audi, ever heard of the MINI Cooper? The A1 could be the first legitimate MINI killer but -- no? No interest in that?
Oh, right, Audi does intend for the A1 to go head-to-head with the MINI -- just not here in the States.
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