FRANKFURT (Bloomberg) -- Audi is revving up its effort to topple BMW as the world’s top luxury-car brand with new SUVs ranging from the tiny Q2 to the full-size Q8.
After falling to third place behind Mercedes-Benz last year, Audi is seeking to reignite flagging growth and overcome the emissions scandal that tarnished the image at parent company Volkswagen Group.
Audi, which struggled last year because it had the oldest lineup among the three competitors, aims to regain an edge in 2016 by introducing new cars as BMW’s offerings age.
“The competition with our rivals will remain a neck-and-neck race,” Audi sales chief Dietmar Voggenreiter said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. “We should get a tailwind from our new models.”
Audi will present the urban-focused Q2 at the Geneva auto show next week. The SUV will become the brand's smallest crossover and is aimed at a younger audience.
With the little Q2, Audi has zeroed in on a segment BMW and Mercedes haven’t touched. The car is designed to lure young city dwellers who require less space than in the larger Q3 sister model.
Audi will also see its SUV plans tested as the revamped Q7 hit U.S. showrooms in January. The full-size SUV went on sale in Europe last summer. It will compete with the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and newcomers such as the Maserati Levante in an increasingly crowded segment.