Audi: RS 5 convertible, more diesels on the way
Keogh: Volume models will get diesel versions.
PARIS -- Audi's decision to bring the RS 5 convertible to the United States in the first quarter of 2013 shows the increasing confidence of the brand's German executives in this market, says Scott Keogh, U.S. brand chief.
"It's not a complicated thing," Keogh told reporters at the show. "When you're selling cars and making money, there's a high degree of interest to set cars up and sell them in the marketplace."
Audi has pushed the RS performance line, feeling that it adds an important element to the brand.
Audi of America's success with diesel versions of several vehicles won it credibility with its German parent, Keogh said. Now, he added, Audi of America plans for all of its volume models to get diesel versions.
Diesel penetration in the United States is over 50 percent for the A3 subcompact and between 35 and 40 percent for the Q7 crossover, he said.
Another newcomer, the Allroad crossover based on the A4, has also proved strong.
It was introduced this year in the United States at the Detroit auto show in January and went on sale in the spring. Audi had not sold an Allroad in the United States since 2005.
Keogh said that the Allroad fills a gap, both in reviving a heritage vehicle and in countering the low interest in wagons in the United States. Audi is intrigued with broadening the Allroad range, he said.
But, he cautioned, "You have to be careful. I think if you just badge a bunch of things with cladding, you lose some of the authenticity. But it's something we have to take a look at."
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