Audi Successfully Negotiates With FCA Over Q2 And Q4 Names
Audi’s alphanumeric “Q#” nomenclature is finally complete after the company announced that it had successfully negotiated with Fiat Chrysler over the rights to the Q2 and Q4 names. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler made the announcement, saying that the two sides have reached an agreement that allowed Audi to take ownership of the two names.
Stadler didn’t dive into the specifics of the transaction, but he did hint that Audi had to give up some of its trademarks to FCA in exchange. In the purest sense, it was a trade that both sides agreed on, ending years of Audi’s relentless pursuit in completing its alphanumeric “Q#” lineup.
With the Q2 and Q4 names now in its possession, the German automaker is expected to waste little time putting the two names to use. The Q2, in particular, will be used on a sub-compact crossover that’s being tipped to make its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March. The model will be available in the same choice of engines as the A1 and will use Volkswagen’s MQB platform.
Meanwhile, the Q4 will likely be used on a coupe-like variant of the next-generation Audi Q3. Once it’s released, it would be slotted right smack in the middle of a segment that’s currently inhabited by its two biggest rivals, the BMW X4 and the Mercedes GLE-Class.
As for FCA, there’s no word on what it received from Audi as compensation for letting go of the Q2 and Q4. Back when it those two names were owned by FCA, Q2 was used as the name of its limited slip differential technology while Q4 was the designation for the all-wheel drive variants of the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte.
According to Stadler, no amount of the money was part of the deal so it points to the possibility that this trade could’ve been a simple trademark-for-trademark transaction.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Why it matters
I guess both Audi and Fiat Chrysler got what they wanted, even though the specifics of what the latter received have yet to be made public. I do know that Audi is over the moon with this deal. For the longest time, the German automaker was desperate to secure the trademarks for both the Q2 and Q4 since those were the only two names it didn’t own as part of its “Q#” lineup. Yep. It had every other number except the Q2 and Q4.
Stadler himself admits that Audi has long been in pursuit of acquiring those names from Fiat Chrysler, saying that Audi “tried to get it years ago”, only to be rebuffed by FCA. But as they say, never say “never” in the business world, and after constant prodding, Stadler went back to FCA with a new proposal and after some negotiations, the two sides finally came to an agreement.
All’s well that ends well, right? Audi can definitely lay claim to that because it can move forward with two of its models that didn’t have a name until this transaction was finalized. You can tell how important it was for Audi to do the deal as soon as possible because there’s already talk that one of the models it will showcase at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show this March is the Q2. As for the Q4, there’s no timetable for that model yet, but since it’s being lined up for release to coincide with the debut of the next-generation Q3, we should have our first look at it as a 2017 model.
On FCA’s end, I don’t know what it got in exchange for giving Audi those two names, but like all of you, I hope details on that end of the transaction comes to light sooner than later.
Read our full review on the Audi Q2 here.