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Audi A6

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Comments

  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    I agree with you. For example, I receive all these various surveys (with a $1.00 bill stuck in them to intice me to fill them out) and I fill them reporting my experience. Then the surveys come out and they completely devalue what I have written or stated. I am on my 9th Audi in terms of of ownership and heading to add my 10th with the new S6, and either I am lucky (as one CR idiot once told me- shows you the bias), or after a sample of that many Audis I do represent some form of experience that is more reflective of the brand. I generally keep my Audis from anywhere up to 5 years with some averaging more miles than others. I did have a BMW 5-Series (2003) just for a change and within a year after so many electronic problems I just had to dump it. So, I am not sure what survey to trust or any. I have stopped filling out those surveys as I feel they do not reflect my experience or take my experience seriously.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    Between my wife, my company cars (which are mine) and yours, we have the ability to report on 37 Audis, soon to be 38 with your new S6.

    Wonder if our experiences count?
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    We seem to be disagreeing, but that's mostly due to my not having been clear about why I was referencing the magazine editors' complaint about having had to make 8 service-repair trips in a year. My point was to question the basis on which any one of us could reassure another of us that their car's long term reliability would be fine. I might have owned an Audi or two and could tell you I never had a problem, but then the car delivered to the magazine neutralizes my experience. But maybe one of us has owned so many Audis that their history constitutes a small experiment from which more-than-anecdotal evidence can be extracted.

    While I also agree that, compared to anecdotal reports, each based on a sample of one car, CR and JDP appear to have a collection of potentially useful data, I'm not always sure they have collected, analyzed, and reported that data entirely in the best interest of consumers -- but perhaps also in ways designed to over-hype their own importance, since they are selling a product called research.

    CR wants me to buy a BMW 5-series rather than an Audi A6, but I like looking at, sitting in, and driving the A6 better.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    My point was to question the basis on which any one of us could reassure another of us that their car's long term reliability would be fine.

    I agree. We as forum posters have simple personal experiences to relay to each other. That is one thing. Another thing is publishing a single car experience as an implied reliability report for a car, which is what the auto mags seems to be doing...

    I like haven't ever really liked CR's circle data points. Why can't they just give hard numbers? I'd like to know that there have been X number of service visits per 1000 person replies, or something like that.

    I agree, I don't like CR's best buy car pics. They are never anything but boring and too practical for me.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,654
    I like haven't ever really liked CR's circle data points. Why can't they just give hard numbers? I'd like to know that there have been X number of service visits per 1000 person replies, or something like that.

    And even that is useless to a point. Let’s say boring car X has 101 problems per 100 vehicles and the Audi has 106 (2005 JD initial quality)…you still have a good chance of taking your car to the dealer and have some warranty work done…even Lexus at 81 problems per 100 vehicles will still require the odd warranty work.

    Even with VW at a high 147…big deal…if you’re going to go to the dealer anyway…might as well tell them to fix this AND that.

    As long as the dealer is competent and offers loaners…and the vehicles problems don’t leave you stranded, I say go for the car you want.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Don`t forget me Mark...That`s one more....I think it a shame when CR or JD influences a person early on in the selection process---sort of prejudices you....It has happened to me in the past and of course takes a while to go away...When cfcharlie was in his deciding period of time I tried to urge him to get what HE wanted, not what was recomended, and now I feel for him as I think he really wnated the Audi....Something happened with Audi in the last couple of years, as I have had no problems with the car, and I mean none....I have had two things happen that were my fault---rubber tread hit right front bumper and gouged a piece of rubber off the tire sidewall while scraping the rim, but unfortunately that`s my fault....Still I have to deal with it, so the moral of the story is there is always something that has to be dealt with no matter what car we own. Tony
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Anthony, Mark ... I appreciate the way you've hung in there with me.

    Looking back (mea maxima culpa) I believe the initial influences on my decision were not only CR (and it was much more that 90+ percent of current owners were reported to have said they'd buy the car again, than it was "predicted reliability") but also a review in USA Today, in which the reviewer essentially said this was the LPS all the others were trying to be. That, and an over-involvement (naively encouraged by me as benign, I have to say) by other family members. Also, working against Audi was a mediocre experience with the local VW/Audi dealership service department during the two years a new 1999 Passat was under warranty.

    Nonetheless, I overrode my "I want this car" after I drove a 3.2 S-Line, neither just saying "ok, lets negotiate, nor "let's sit down and order me a 2007 4.2 S-Line" -- either of which I could have done right then. So, you know, in college in fell heavy for Kierkegaard's notion that responsibility (for individual choice) cannot be sloughed off onto so-called objective determinants. The feeling I got when I drove each car I test-drove was me telling me all I had to say to myself about what I wanted. I ignored that subjective truth.

    Now, Kierkegaard also famously said that life is best understood backwards but must be lived forwards anyway. So, I'm trying to conjure up options.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    There is a very infectious excitement about the Infiniti M35, which is not understandable simply as something manufactured by "research" outfits, such as CR and JDP. It raises a question for Audi: why don't Audi buyers give as many gold-stars to themselves for having purchased an A6 as do buyers of the M35?

    For example, Strategic Vision (SV) has been rating consumer enthusiasm about products in many markets for about a decade. They're method is not one of problem-counting. Rather they try to measure (as social psychologists have long done) qualities and attitudes: satisfaction with complete ownership experience; perception of quality; emotional attachment to vehicle. The A6 finished last in their "Luxury Cars" category, when SV asked 29,000 buyers (who bought 2006 models in October and November of 2005) how they felt about their purchases, with regard to the three factors I just listed. The top five were: BMW 7-Series (928, out of a possible 1000 points); Infiniti M35/M45 (908); Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan (908); Jaguar XJ (905); and the BMW 5-Series Sedan (904). Audi was last of ten cars with a score of 893.

    Would anyone want to hazard a guess/theory about why a community of owners who (if this forum is any indication) are very enthusiastic about their Audi A6s, not convey that excitement in a different-from-CR type of survey?
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    The thing I find most interesting is that the worst score (Audi) still represents a pretty positive result, at 89.3% of the possible points. The best score is 3.5% higher, with the other 8 distributed along that tiny percentage.

    Whoop-de-do. If the best were 98.5% and the worst 54%, I think we'd all have more to talk about.

    This is akin to the magazine & TV ads that show bar charts illustrating some factor or other, where 95% of the chart is truncated. How many people notice that? I'm guessing, not many.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Helpful clarification ... led me to delve a bit more into the Strategic Vision website, and I found this:

    "The correlations derived from this complex procedure are transformed into a 1000 point scale to facilitate comparisons. The scores typically range from 750 to 900. Generally, scores over 800 are terrific, although in some segments a score in the low 800's is not very competitive."

    That is in line with your take, with the implication that all the LPS cars are experienced by people who have bought them as "terrific," but statistically, some of these cars appear to generate more "wow" feelings than others. The other comment I found on the SV website speaks to that:

    "Typically, differences of 3-5 points in this scoring system are significant depending on the nature of the sample, i.e., variation, differences in factor scores, etc."

    With regard to that, the 15 point difference between the M35 and the A6 would seem significant statistically (assuming those tail-end qualifying comments about "depending on the nature of the sample" don't play a big role in this particular sample), but, I'm still inclined to say, they don't matter as much if, as you intuited (good catch!), all those differences equate to are degrees of "terrific-ness" -- a factor which probably shouldn't over-ride "I like that one best".

    So, perhaps, the SV survey, after all, reveals the opposite of what I first thought it did -- Audi owners (along with all the other LPS car owners) said "yes, my car is terrific."
  • habuhabu Posts: 52
    I filled out an SV questionairre in May on my '06 Avant purchase. Maybe it's just me, but when "delightful" was the best response I could give for many of the questions ("excellent was #2) I could not choose that word. Perhaps we A6 owners are less emotional about our vehices. As with all surveys, the wording and the audience can skew the results. I did see a TV show recently where some managers from GM and DC were talking about introducing new products and how important making an emotional connection was to the success of the machine.
    Finally, the worst evaluation available for many of the questions on the SV survey was "complete failure". People who buy luxury cars and then rate their choice as a complete failure should be very few.
    Best part of the survey was the promise to enter me in a drawing for $30,000 if I sent the survey back, rather than sending me one dollar with the survey. When I win, it won't pay off the Avant completely, but it will help. That will be DELIGHTFUL.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    In my case I was coming from Lexus and as I had had lexus so long, and the experience with the dealer so good, i was concerned....before the order and after the order, i spoke with the manager at Audi, and pointedly wanted assurances that they would take care of me with no bs....As you have had a poor dealer experience with vw/audi I would have also been on guard about going back....Possibly if they had put in writing that you would be given all consideration, then maybe things could have been given another chance...It really is getting hard to be a consumer, with all the discounts and then no service, or vice versa....Maybe in the future you`l be able to justify a little quicker trade, and then if any of us can remember--go with the gut---and not read all the other influencial articles until after you have made the decision---that way make them talk you out of the deal and not into the deal...Your Fellow Consumer Tony
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    . . . according to the book "Blown to Bits: How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy."

    Of course I also like to look at it like this:

    Car Buyers are sitting ducks.

    But the problems dealers face are certainly not entirely of their own making. We customers demand ever lower prices and ever higher services -- that we seem unwilling to pay for. We buy our cars off the Internet, then we wonder why we have virtually no one to turn to at the dealership when something goes bump.

    It reminds me so much of Home Theater and the mom and pop home theater store it is frightening. My high end home theater retailer does discount, but no where near the discounts of some of the mass marketers. But much of what the specialty store sells is not sold at the big box stores. So the mom and pop place sells at discount some of the same stuff and "hopes to make it up in volume."

    Seriously, the mom and pop store sets everything up, programs the remotes, balances the speakers with an SPL and calibrates the new HD TV. The Big Buy box store delivers the product and asks to be paid to have skippy the wonder installer come out and give your new TV, speakers and receiver the lick and a promise set up.

    Everything is a la carte -- yet car and home theater buyers, perhaps for the reason that the purchases are usually 5 figure affairs, think that the Service is "included" in the price. The dealer has ever lower margins.

    My car salesperson, I'll call him Bob (not his real name), has been with the Audi store for, OH, I'd say, 80 years and I know him and his wife, well. He shares that the commission on an Audi A4, A6, or A8 (or even Porsche) are very close to each other these days. The big ticket commission of yesteryear has been replaced with a smaller commission -- although there are spiffs to sell that $128,000 A8 W12 -- they are rarely earned during the incentive period.

    I remember when my car dealer was a consultant there to help me configure my order and educate me about the product. 3/4ths of all Audis USED to be ordered, now it is perhaps 1/5th (and that is probably optimistic.) People don't want to wait for their cars to come in, at most they will pick up the car "this weekend." The customer's expectations have changed, apparently, even for high end LPS cars.

    I cannot imagine NOT ordering one of these cars -- yet it seems that I am in a shrinking minority of folks.

    The customer wants to "pay invoice," get attractive lease or financing rates and essentially expects quantum levels of time (post sale) be made available to him even though the dealer has slimmer margins and the sales reps lower commissions and often no holdbacks these days.

    We have met the enemy and it is us?

    Now, don't get me wrong, I have little sympathy for car dealers -- I know of very few of them that are not "fat dumb and happy" even with the difficulties facing some of the auto manufacturers.

    But, the Internet is threat to them -- AND to high customer sat -- at least it can be.

    The Internet, the "new economy" is "deconstructing" industries such as auto retailing while creating new opportunities for others. In Blown to Bits it is asserted that the "glue that holds today's value chains and supply chains together" is melting, and that even "the most stable of industries, the most focused of business models and the strongest of brands can be blown to bits by new information technology."

    Car Dealers, so they say, are sitting ducks.

    We customers are not without blame, too.

    The Audi Advantage and the BMW 4/50 full maintenance plans were ways to overcome some of the resistance to repurchasing -- resistance that, in part, comes from the "dole" of money for maintenance, even if intervals are 10 to 15,000 miles.

    Audi still baffles me by dropping the program -- for when oil changes cost $100 there is just something that rubs most folks the wrong way. Free is, of course, not really free -- but it feels so much better to get the oil and filter changed, the new wiper blades and all the rest and have the invoice read, $0.00 amount due.

    We're all sitting ducks, perhaps.

    I have nuttin' but love for my Audi dealer -- so it is hard to relate to the bad dealer experience comments. I would think that both the dealer (largely) and the customer (a little bit) have some responsibility in creating the climate that I assume must be out there between customers and dealers.

    I do not assume my dealer is out to screw up or screw me.

    I do not assume my dealer is perfect.

    I do assume my dealer ought to make a profit -- just not all of his profit on my deal.

    I wonder when I read these love stories about Lexus how the great experiences are funded -- Oh wait a minute, now I remember.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I'm sure I'm opening a bag of worms with this comment, but I have to say, I have issues with car salesmen getting upset if they don't get a great commission on a sale. I personally spent about 1 hour with my salesman before buying my car, and another hour going though the process of purchasing the car. That's 2 hours of his time with me. Why then should he get $5,000?

    I know, we can argue that he's spent many more hours showing the car to people that don't buy the car, but why should I pay for them? You can also throw in the cost of the dealership and inventory expenses, but why should I pay for that based on my 2 hours of use of the dealerships time? I don't know of any other industry (except maybe real estate) in which the commissions are so good for so little investment of time on an individual basis.

    I'd like it if the whole scheme of selling cars were revamped. Its so old school with the manager, salesmen, financial person, negotiations, etc... My dream would be to have no dealerships per se but instead places where we go and can test drive a car for a fee. Maybe even a place where they have some driver's courses to test the capabilities of the car in cornering and accelerating and stopping. They could specialize in a particular make, or type of car, or be general in autos offered.

    We could then purchase autos directly from the manufacturer and do away with the middleman. (kind of like buying a Dell computer...check it out at the kiosk but buy it online for delivery)

    Or maybe just leave everything as it is... ;)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    The sales rep may receive 1% -- $500 not $5000.

    And, there seems to be a trend that the rep gets capped.

    If a rep sells ten cars per month, he may get $10,000. It is increasingly likely it will be more like $5000. Selling 10 cars per month is about 1 every other day.

    I am not suggesting you should pay more than a fair price.

    And, if you spent one hour with the guy, perhaps he added very little value.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    I've brought this up before, so I'll bring it up (so to speak) again.

    I could give a rip if every traditional car dealership disappeared tomorrow. I've bought more than one car without having driven it (ordered a configuration not stocked), and I keep them long & drive them hard. I use independent repair shops (or do self-maintenance) & try to acquire vehicles that don't require monthly warranty work. Yeah, I know. . .I'm. . .different.

    In (my) perfect world, buying a car would be much like buying a Dell computer -- choose the options you want on-line & get the thing in 10 days or fewer (color, interior, engine, suspension, everything just as you want), delivered at a company-owned facility that only needs to provide test-drives & delivery, provided by salaried "professionals" (as if there were such a thing in this business).

    I've had it explained to me on other Edmunds boards (since shut down) that the vast majority of people acquiring (includes leasing) cars can't really afford them &/or don't know what they want. They need to be provided with upside-down financing and otherwise made to feel that they're worthy. (disclosure -- I've eaten two chocolate-chip cookies at my local Lincoln {God's waiting room} dealership)

    Include me out.

    That said, I'm willing to posit that one or more manufacturers will adopt this model. Want to guess who'll be first? Want to bet whether it'll work?

    It certaintly won't in the cheapy-chugger market (that'd be most of it), but in the land of people who know what they want and don't want to waste time or money?. . .
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Yes you are right. We could have a mini focus group with that many Audis between us. I think Audi owes us a nice trip. Maybe some track time in Germany would be nice. Just received confirmation of my new S6 from my Audi Brand Specialist. Looks like November is the delivery date due to a higher than expected pre-orders for the new S6. My dealer ordered a couple of S6s unsold just for their stock since they have quite a few to build orders already. Definitely looking forward to November!
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,477
    A6 4.2 = 18 / 25
    ( sigh )
    I suppose + 2 from 2006 is OK.
    - Ray
    Hoping for a larger 'bump' in highway MPG . .
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Don't feel bad ... same as 275 HP V-6 in Infinity M35, but you'll get 350 HP for your gas money.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    Don't feel bad ... same as 275 HP V-6 in Infinity M35, but you'll get 350 HP for your gas money.

    Although I understand your point, the roughly $10k premium for the Audi 4.2 takes away from the theoretical "gas money" comparison with the Infiniti (not Infinity) M35.

    My friend's 4.2 gets considerably less than the EPA figures, FWIW.
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