Audi A3 e-Tron = 1 Out Of 50 US Audi Sales

Via CleanTechnica:

I didn’t really hide my distaste for the Audi A3 e-Tron compared to a fully electric car when I reviewed the A3 e-Tron last year, but I admitted that I was mostly spoiled from my test drive of the Renault Zoe and the typically superior torqueness of fully electric cars.

The A3 e-Tron, if you’re set on a vehicle with gasoline support and are for some reason turned off by the Chevy Volt and BMW i3 REx, is actually a pretty dern good vehicle. (Well, that claim is coming from someone who has historically liked the design of Audis.)

Audi A3 e-Tron

The Audi A3 e-Tron has a pretty comfortable, luxurious interior, looks great on the outside, and does have some electric range. Apparently, many buyers are sold on these features (and maybe others) as well. Audi has announced that 2% (1 out of every 50) Audi cars sold in the US is an A3 e-Tron.

I know, 2% isn’t cause to shoot fireworks from the roof, but it’s above the overall US EV market share (which is under 1%), and it could well be a bit of a surprise to Audi. Will it inspire Audi dealers to put more confidence into the A3 e-Tron’s qualities? Will it drive more and more A3 e-Tron sales? Will these passengers move on to a Volt, i3, or Model 3 in a few years, after a taste of electric drive? Will the success lead to Audi pushing out more electric models? We’ll see … well, we’ll try to examine the tea leaves as they fall.

Photo by RobGreen via / CC BY-SA

7 thoughts on “Audi A3 e-Tron = 1 Out Of 50 US Audi Sales

  1. Well at least it’s available around here. With all its arrogance and Tesla-bashing, GM doesn’t offer the Ampera in Europe and their beloved dealers haven’t got a clue when exactly in 2017 will people be able to order the ampera e… some Opel dealers don’t even know what the ampera e is… So someone looking for a decent electrified car that isn’t 5 m long and doesn’t cost 100k (in this part of the world where you pay VAT in the price of the car) has very limited choice. The i3 is not practical, the range of 200 realistic km (300 under NEDC) is still not enough. The zoe is a cheap econobox which again is not practical, like for taking your kids or putting skis or a bike. It sucks that I have nothing better to recommend than a hybrid but it shows that gm is no better than Tesla, in reality their vehicle is not available either.

    1. The hard feelings are mutual when it comes to European makes withholding their wagons from the US market – I’m part of the lonely little group of American wagon lovers :(. In both cases, I’m guessing that it has more to do with their marketing guys giving management the cold facts about what will sell in the respective markets and what, unfortunately, won’t. I don’t think anybody is withholding any models that would actually sell.

      1. No, they’re not intentionally withholding obviously… it’s a different topic from why Americans like sedans and some European countries prefer wagons (can’t generalize about Europe like that). Rather, I’m trying to express my frustration at gm as they tried to say we have a finished product ready to be shipped to our beloved dealers. As it stands, they don’t have a product or a release date so they’re exactly 0% better than Tesla at that. At least Tesla lets you know what’s up and talks about their production plans. So the bottom line is, I can only recommend the A3 e-tron as a partially electrified car with reasonable size, practicality and quality even though I dislike hybrids in general. GM and its dealers are simply incapable of giving us an idea of when in 2017 they can deliver a vehicle to a customer, not even when we can configure or order one.

        1. If you remember, the Ampera, which was the Volt equivalent was discontinued in Europe a few years ago due to poor sales. That same car is the #2 selling plug in car in the US after the Model S. I’m guessing that tastes do have something to do with the differing fortunes of that car.

          See this comment from the link below: “All the governments in Europe said, ‘We want EVs, we want EVs,'” Girsky said on the sidelines of the Geneva auto show that year. “We show up with one, and where is everybody?”

          1. Here’s a hint why the original Ampera didn’t work. People around here see gm and Chevy in particular as cheap, unreliable and falling apart after 50’000 km. So while we see a growing number of electrics like the i3, Renault, many Teslas, no one cared about the Ampera. It wasn’t your typical Opel, it felt more like a cheap gm product. Around here, you do see some Golf GTEs, A3 e-tron, merc PHEV, Porsche E hybrids etc. maybe this time the Ampera 2 will be more to the euro taste I.e. tall hatchback (I dislike that type btw) and its range will be sufficient for the vast majority of people so I predict long waiting lists especially if it’s an Opel and not a Chevy.

          2. Chevy has a much higher reliability rating than any European marque. As I said, it comes down to tastes. Europeans just don’t seem to like GM cars. You can’t pin it on hard numbers like quality or reliability, which are better for most US manufacturers. I would imagine that GM is not likely to be in a rush to release the Bolt in Europe. If they were smart, they will focus their attention on the US and Canada markets where their cars have more of a cult following.

          3. You know why first gen EVs haven’t sold that well… It’s not people’s fault, just that beyond wealthy folks and EV enthusiasts, not much of the market is being served.

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