The Audi Phenomenon

It seems that at the moment everyone I speak to has either just bought an Audi or are willing to sell their children for one! Audi cars are very ‘in’ at the moment which is a strange concept for the brand that has always seemed to play third fiddle to the likes of Mercedes and BMW. I’ve been wracking my brain about the reasons behind it and I’m still not sure I have the answer but I’ll share my theory. The obvious route to take is that Audi make superior products that are competitively priced and well marketed, but the issue I have with this is that they’ve always made good cars which have been good value for money so still leaves me thinking; why the increase in popularity recently? In fact I’d consider Audi (quite controversially for all those Audi fans) to have a fairly dull model line up of late with styling leaving me a little underwhelmed. Take the A5 for example, a car I’ve covered in a blog a year or two ago, a great car, a perfectly capable machine but coupes (for me at least) should be exciting to look at but the A5 left me emotionless, a little too understated. This I think bizarrely may be the reason behind the Audi Phenomenon, as things became more bling in the early noughties Audi’s understated approach was a safe-haven for those not wanting the ‘drug-dealer’ Merc or the ‘boy-racer-cum-M3-man’ BMW. As these stereotypes become more widely accepted the stigma-free Audi is rapidly becoming a brand that we associate with understated class but yet is not beyond the reach of those who have only a little of it (miaow…handbags…etc). It may surprise you to learn that I’m actually a fan of Audi’s wares and the prospect of Audi ownership is something that greatly tickles my fancy, this is especially true after I’d had a look at their recent display at the Frankfurt Motorshow. I’m now hopeful we’ll see some more excitement from their line up during the next couple of years, however, popularity is only good to a certain point since ubiquity can lead to being branded as ‘common’…..there’s always Volvo I suppose!

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