The universal truth, according to German automakers, is this: the world needs more crossovers and SUVs, as these deliver a high seating position for better visibility, as well as a more rugged image.
Whether you agree or disagree with this position, Bloomberg says that Audi will increase its number of crossover offerings by 2020, in order to more effectively compete with market leader BMW.
Audi is hardly alone in upping its segment offerings, as BMW globally offers the X1, X3 and X5 SUVs, as well as the X4 and X6 crossovers. To its G, GL, GLK and M Class SUVs and crossovers, Mercedes has added a new GLA compact model.
Audi offers the Q3, Q5 and Q7 crossovers, but over the next few years, expect to see Audi launch the Q2 (based on its Crosslane concept), the Q4 and the Q6 crossovers as well.
To increase the appeal of its crossovers, Audi is developing higher-performance models to match those available from rival brands. An SQ5 is already out, and Audi has just announced an RS Q3 crossover that will debut in Geneva next month.
Ultimately, the question becomes how many SUV models are too many? While every luxury brand wants to gain incremental market share, profitability is usually determined by sales volume. It’s one thing to offer a unique product for each buyer, but it’s something else entirely to turn a profit on each product sold.