Thursday, September 17, 2009

Audi says U.S. will get clean diesels at a premium

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler says American consumers will get more clean diesels--but they will pay a premium for them.

“I think the problem is that we don't really have an honest discussion,” Stadler said in a press roundtable at the auto show here.

“There is a very, very high level of investment, and nobody today knows if the return will come,” he said.

Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America, says that ultimately Audi sees itself as selling 20 to 25 percent of its vehicles in the United States with diesel powertrains. For the Audi Q7 crossover, Audi's first diesel here, diesel penetration is 35 percent, he said, and the brand ran short of diesels during model-year changeover.

The share is even higher for the A3 TDI subcompact, he added.

But, de Nysschen said, Audi is supporting the technology financially: “There certainly is a price premium, which we are partially recovering, but not totally.”


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