GENEVA--Audi is considering a North American comeback for its allroad quattro, an all-wheel-drive wagon with extra performance features that it dropped in 2005.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi AG board member for sales and marketing, said the company revisited the potential for the wagon because SUVs are becoming less popular. Discussions with Audi of America are under way, Schwarzenbauer told Automotive News.
Audi sold an A6 version of the wagon, known as the allroad quattro, in North America from 2000 to 2005. But after a strong start of nearly 6,000 units, U.S. sales fell to just 2,429 in its final year in North America. That wasn't enough to justify imports of the second-generation vehicle, which sells today in Europe as the A6 allroad quattro.
Schwarzenbauer said the time may be right for the allroad in North America.
"When we launched the A6 allroad the first time, it was still the high time of big SUVs," he said. "And I think it was hard for a new concept to compete against the SUVs.
"This might have changed in the last 12 months, so we probably have to reconsider what we do on the allroad side, whether it is A4 or A6."
The A4 allroad quattro, which debuted last week, will go on sale in Europe in early summer at a base price of 37,100 euros, or $46,538 at current exchange rates.
(Source: Automotive News)