That Audi would be building the Q1, a small SUV competing with the Toyota RAV4 two-door, and based on the Steppenwolf concept car shown in 2000 is, if not old news, at least a long-standing rumor. In early April, the German magazine Sueddeutsche, reported that Audi was working on this vehicle.
Now another German magazine, Autobild, has published photos purporting to show what the expected appearance of the production Q1.
Building this car is part of a long-term brand strategy previously announced by Audi’s top management. In May, Audi’s general manager, Rupert Stadler, told the company’s annual shareholders meeting, that “Audi will be number one” by 2015. To achieve that goal, Audi expects to increase sales to more than a million vehicles per year by 2008, with a target of 1.5 million vehicles in 2015.
While sales at both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been flat this year, Stadler reported to the meeting that sales at Audi increased almost ten percent during the first quarter of this year. Audi is also making major commitments to both the Chinese market (where its sales increased 20% in the first quarter) and India, where it will build a new assembly plant next year.
The Q1 suggests that Audi intends to leave no market segment unfilled, and no market unsatisfied.