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  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Audi quite possibly stems from a valid an interesting historical perspective of Audi in general, which as you recall did not always build cars of the same quality and level of "excellence" they build today.

    No I dont think it is historical at all. I think that fact remains the same right now in the present. Quality in terms of "fit and finish" was always stellar for Audis in the past and the present. Nothing has changed. Audi reliability ? Histroically and today there is nothing to boast about in terms of Audi reliability. NOTHING!

    Histroically my Audi 4000s was a piece of junk in fact even a bigger piece of junk than my BMW 335i.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    But, heck, you're the investor genius here... what do I know?

    Yeah well I used to be a Mensa member until the association found out my recent investment returns and kicked me out. :sick:
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Audi reliability ? Histroically and today there is nothing to boast about in terms of Audi reliability. NOTHING!

    I certainly see a lot more Audis in & around my German car-loving NYC suburb than I did 5 years ago. Several of my neighbors now drive them. But without exception, all of them are leased. I don't know anyone who has purchased an Audi.

    Although I had a simply dreadful Audi ownership experience many years ago, I might be willing to put that behind me & give Audi another chance if I could meet a happy Audi owner - someone who bought his car at least 5 years ago & who could tell me how well (or poorly) the brand ages. The closest I can come to that is a neighbor who's on her 3rd Audi lease & who assures me that her cars have given her very little trouble.

    Well, for someone who believes that non-business leases are financially dumb & who expects to get at least 8 years out of any new car, that isn't nearly good enough.

    I see plenty of E34 5-series & E-36 3-series cars around town, but I never see an Audi from that era. It's hard not to suspect that Audi builds cars for leasing - not for long-term ownership.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Dewey... you do not understand Audi.

    Remember the back-to-back diesel racing victories that happened around the same timeline of the world debut of the fabulous R-8?

    The restyled front end of Audis was another significant factor.

    Beautiful updated models and benchmark interir craftsmanshp.

    Clembo's post said it well.

    It is obvious.

    Cheap cars? I think not.

    Wouln't mind an R-8 in my garage.

    TM
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I see plenty of E34 5-series & E-36 3-series cars around town, but I never see an Audi from that era.

    Early A4s had a sluggish 2.8l V6 (carryover from the 90/100), then the 1.8t had issues with oil sludging (to the point where VW essentially had to make their own oil to satisfy the detergent requirements they established), and both the A4 and the Passat had horribly complicated suspension systems that required rebuilding at regular intervals.

    I am also wondering if the trend of BMW to "minimize maintenance" now they its on their dime has affected the longevity of their vehicles. The E36 3-series still had a relatively robust maintenance schedule, while the E46 and newer vehicles have extended service intervals.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,598
    Jim, are you familiar with a poster here handled, "markincinicinnati?" He is an Audi man with a capital Audi... Although, I can't remember if he owns or leases, but he is a major fan. You might seek out his posts/profile...

    Off to New Hampster to ski. Takin' the TL, now that it is shod with snow sneakers. Tax free shopping, woohoo!

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • clemboclembo Posts: 253
    The fact that recent Audi sales are holding up relatively well is more of a fluke in terms of product cycles than anything else.

    Boy Dewey tough crowd. In the industry that I'm in we call it good strategic planning when you align new product releases that find favor with customer buying cycles. I can think of many comapnies in many industries that would like to have the same "fluke" cycle that Audi is experiencing.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    In fact Laurasdada did point out an interesting forum member named MarkCininatti.

    He leased dozens of Audis. And is an avid fan. I haven't seen his name in a forum for ages but what makes him very interesting is the fact that he keeps repeating he would never ever want to own an Audi beyond warranty because he is afraid of the expenses.

    He was one of the reasons among many why I decided to buy my BMW335i instead of an Audi. Unfortunately I would have been better off with almost any Audi.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Clembo and Tagman,

    let me be clear I would prefer the Audi A8 is known to be the best car in the segment. An Audi S, RS or R8 more than whatever is offered by German car rivals. And it is not mere coincidence that they are premium priced over the offerings of BMW.

    The word "cheaper" for FWD offerings in Europe probably sounded a bit too strong. But the fact of the matter is that Audi does have a far wider selection of lower priced offerings globally than their rivals. They can do so because of VW (SUV and cars). And I dont mean saying that as if I am on some kind of Anti-Audi rampage.

    Here is a current quote from the Wall Street Journal:

    Audi's order rate is down by about 10% from a year earlier, Mr. Schwarzenbauer said, with demand for the smaller A3 and A4 less affected by the downturn than orders for its larger cars.

    He said Audi has "a great benefit" from economies of scale through Volkswagen, Europe's largest auto maker.

    Analysts view the ability to boost profit with smaller cars as crucial for luxury-auto makers as consumer tastes shift.


    link title
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    With the lack of snob appeal in Europe you would think that the Hyundai Genesis would do better in Spain/Europe than in North America.

    I don't know about that. Every time I've been there, I've seen rather few Japanese cars, let alone Korean. Many EU countries also have high import taxes, which can quickly eliminate pricing advantages. Europeans for the most part tend to drive European cars (or Fords).
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What is your point? Most BMW's and M-B's sold here are not representative of their mainstream offerings in Europe as well.

    Indeed. I don't think anyone in the US would be caught dead with an E-class four-cylinder, supercharged or no.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, for someone who believes that non-business leases are financially dumb & who expects to get at least 8 years out of any new car, that isn't nearly good enough.

    It comes down to risk v. reward. German cars are generally more rewarding to drive than most, the downside is increased risk. That's why the vast majority of German luxury buyers lease. Leasing a new BMW means you pay for little more than gas over the lease period, Audi is the same if you roll Audi Care into your lease payment. BMW was also until recently offering very aggressive leases, they practically gave us an X3 just for showing up. Buying it made absolutely no sense.

    I wouldn't keep any German car out of warranty for long, doesn't matter what brand. If you want to hang on to the car for longer than a typical lease, buy it and get the extended warranty, and then sell when the warranty is up. Otherwise, buy an Infiniti.

    For what it's worth, I do see several C5 ('98-'04) A6s around. Not so many older A4's which isn't too surprising as the vast majority were 1.8Ts, an engine known for being a bit of a nightmare.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I wouldn't keep any German car out of warranty for long, doesn't matter what brand.

    That is precisely why I intend to never own another German car. I keep my cars for a long time. I hate hefty depreciation expenses as much as I hate maintenance expenses.

    German car complexity resembles the car corrosion problems of the 70s. During the 70s nobody wanted to keep cars too long due to corrosion and now in the 21 century nobody wants to keep a German car too long due to the costs of their complexity.

    A durablity, reliability and high quality were the legendary attributes of Benzes in the past. In my opinion the prestige of an MB star has become diminished without those three important attributes.

    Pardon my cynicism but sometimes I feel owning a German car nowadays has become a money status symbol in terms of the willingness to spend hefty amounts on depreciation during warranty and hefty amounts of maintenace costs after warranty. German cars are objects of prestige mainly because owning such a car would only be possible if a person is affluent and if not affluent than financially reckless.

    My 83 MB 300D was a prestige car that was cheaper to own over this quarter century than any Toyota Corolla. That IMO is real pretige based on exceptional craftmanship. That is why my next luxury vehicle will end up being a Lexus (or a non-luxury Prius).
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,244
    . . .are you familiar with a poster here handled, "markincinicinnati?"

    Mark's posting frequency has dropped by two (or more) orders of magnitude from what it was a year or so ago. Besides writing some of the longest posts known to man, he posted many times a day on every Audi-related board and several others. He's been MIA for months, except for the odd post here and there.

    He ALWAYS leases and thinks anyone who: 1) buys a German car and/or 2) keeps it past the warranty period is well beyond wrong. I've had a number of lively conversations with him on both points, since I prefer to buy and keep cars a long time.

    He does love his Audis. Between himself and his wife (who recently switched over to BMW), they have been in possession of ~28 Audis over the past couple of decades.

    Very entertaining and knowledgeable poster; perhaps he'll come back one day.
  • clemboclembo Posts: 253
    I partially agree with your thesis. I think that a part of owning most German cars is for status but so is owning a Lexus. I think may people prefer German cars because of the way that they perform as much as the status or more people would choose Lexus.

    Opposite point would be the A8 that you mentioned earlier as best in class. I would bet that 95% of the general public has no idea what an A8 is or what is costs. Most A8 drivers would choose any other car in that class if they wanted to flaunt status, I think that these people choose the A8 because of how it performs.

    I also believe that the older issues affecting many German cars reliability has been changed. I would never say that the average German car is more reliable than a top Japanese car but they are much better than the old days - like your 4000. The people that buy German cars do so knowing that if they keep them beyond the warranty period they may be taking on higher repair bills but the trade off for driving enjoyment must be worth it.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Pardon my cynicism but sometimes I feel owning a German car nowadays has become a money status symbol in terms of the willingness to spend hefty amounts on depreciation during warranty and hefty amounts of maintenace costs after warranty. German cars are objects of prestige mainly because owning such a car would only be possible if a person is affluent and if not affluent than financially reckless.

    Sorry, but I must disagree with you there. After many years with a Lexus LS, I didn't switch to the S6 in order to say "Look at me! I can actually afford to drive this money pit!" I switched because I became bored driving what is essentially the ultimate Camry. The S6 is sexy, its reflexes are sharp, and it invites you to enjoy the drive. The LS invites you to take a nap.

    I still think German buyers fall into the usual two categories - those just after the badge, and those that opt for the sport package and the MT.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Hi Clembo

    Your thoughts mirror mine, but I would like to throw in my wife`s bmw sport wagon....It really is an enjoyable safe car, that has the added feature of being able to go to Lowes and carry bulky things--like peat moss from Canada--The interior is durable and it surely doesn`t mimic flaunt....The rx before it could do the same, but even better in the carrying department.. not driving....It has been a fine car, which we purchased four years ago and plan on keeping for a while.. We had Lexus cars and suv for the past twenty years or so, and I will probably go back for my next car as the price is way cheaper than the a8, or at least I think so.....I`l find out in a year or so.....but who knows...Tony
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    Hmmm, here is the Feb yoy sales in the U.S.:

    Audi Feb 2009 - Cars - 3,588 Feb 2008 - 5,022 ( -28.6%) YTD Feb. (-25.6%)

    Total Audi US - Feb 2009 - 4,653 Feb 2008 - 6,152 ( -24-4%) YTD Feb. (-25.6%)

    MB and BMW are more than double Audi's volume and share. They have a long way to go.

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    I'll bet over a good share of the buyers of the E-Class have no idea how many cylinders their engines have!

    Regards,
    OW
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Ha. Good one. I think I agree with that!

    TM
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I wouldn't keep any German car out of warranty for long, doesn't matter what brand. If you want to hang on to the car for longer than a typical lease, buy it and get the extended warranty, and then sell when the warranty is up. Otherwise, buy an Infiniti.

    That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of German engineering. Still, my hunch is that Audi trails the pack when it comes to long-term reliability. My 330i, now in its 8th year, has given me very little trouble. I'm reasonably confident that I can get another couple of years out of it without heroics.

    Even so, I wouldn't own a German car if the other cars in our family weren't Japanese. I'm not brave enough (or crazy enough) to rely exclusively on the Germans to get around.

    My next car might well be an Infiniti if I decide that I'm too old to keep driving a stick. Without manual transmissions, German cars really aren't that much more fun to drive.

    One more point: extended warranties are a lousy way to manage post-warranty repair costs. Most authorities on personal finance recommend against them. A much better approach is to bank a couple of hundred each month while the factory warranty is in effect. That way, you keep the interest & stay in control. Anyone thinking of buying a mid-luxe German car who can't afford to do this should play in a cheaper sandbox.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'll bet over a good share of the buyers of the E-Class have no idea how many cylinders their engines have!

    Every E550 owner knows. As for E350 owners, I would be very surprised if more than 1 in 10 didn't know they had a V6.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of German engineering. Still, my hunch is that Audi trails the pack when it comes to long-term reliability.

    Germans have always made things more complicated than necessary, which leads to higher failure rates. They also seem to be willing to take risks with new and unproven technology (1st gen. iDrive, Mercedes E-brakes, etc.). The Japanese are generally more cautious, though they do make mistakes on occasion.

    From what I've seen, Audi has really been improving their quality since 2005 or so. I think a new A4 or A6 will probably be comparable to a 3 or 5, and better than a M-B.

    Extended warranties can make sense if the dealer is willing to negotiate on the price. Knowing that you "beat the system" and saved the money is cold comfort if for example the twin turbos go and you've got a bill for $7000.
  • rockshocka1rockshocka1 Posts: 310
    Don't know where I fall in re latest posts.

    Paid for the S5 up front, no lease, no note, no bargain deal.

    Enjoy it immensely thus far, only 2k plus miles so far. Unless, fingers crossed, something bad happens, plan to keep her until warranty nears end. If still pleased, will get extended warranty & press on. If still enamored, will pay for upkeep.

    If a kink arises along the way, I'll get something else. No big deal. Just hope I won't be limited to some propeller head mobile.

    I've also managed to have, thus far, a great time with a sport version of a car minus MT. I used to love rowing my own before my left foot became a bisquit. Shift paddles, AKA Playstation, is the way of the future. You can fight it & have as much success as I'll probably have in attaining one of 'the last V8 interceptors' a decade from now.

    As far as badge, I thought seriously about debadging her, so I don't fit there.

    I'll admit partial confidence in this purchase was due to previous A4, S4 & A6 being recommended in CR. I took a leap in faith that the S5, based on Audi's bread & butter, may be respectable in reliability.

    If not, I'll get something else. What's the big whoop?
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    I agree with you to a point. Audi has always been excellent at producing small luxury cars such as the A3 why ahead of its competitors and has thus benefited from that experience. However, we all know MB sells tons of A and B Classes in Europe and they are not anywhere near the luxury of an A3 yet alone an S3.

    That said, Audi in Europe is extremely strong with Audi dominating majority of the luxury classes with the A3>1-Series, A4>3-Series>C-Class, A6>5-Series>E-Class, and the S-Class>A8>7-Series for some time now. The A5 is doing record percentages growth with all other models continuing do well though not as well as last year. However the A4 is increasing in sales globally still. Of course bmw has no answer to the R8 V8 or V10. Q7 has done extremely well prior to the market for SUVs going into the toilet. The Q5 is out to good start as well. Thus, Audi is showing only a 11% decrease so far in sales for 2009. Pricing is relative and Audis are expensive depending on how you option out the model. I do not take this position seriously to say therefore Audi has more sales because of pricing. Tier 1 is Tier 1.

    This release came out today:

    BMW results miss expectations, shares tumble

    March 12, 2009 12:45 CET
    BMW's headquarters in Munich, Germany
    Photo credit: Reuters

    FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- BMW AG, the world's largest premium carmaker, said today its earnings plunged in the fourth quarter, making its 2008 results miss market expectations and sending its shares down nearly 12 percent.

    BMW said group earnings before interest and tax fell 78 percent to 921 million euros ($1.18 billion), well below the average estimate of 1.54 billion euros in a Reuters poll of 20 analysts.

    BMW proposed cutting its 2008 dividend on common stock to 0.30 euros from 1.06 euros after taking a writedown of 1.06 billion euros for the reduced value of cars coming off leases and for bad debts.

    Its shares pared losses to trade down 8.3 percent at 21.04 euros by 1028 GMT while the DJ Stoxx European car sector index was off 3 percent.

    Demand for BMW's sporty models like the Z4 roadster withered in the last quarter of 2008, forcing the company to reveal a decline of 4.3 percent in group sales volumes last year -- its first annual drop since 1993.

    Much like rival Mercedes-Benz, BMW has thrived from the debt-fueled consumerism in markets like the United States where they aggressively pushed volumes for years with attractively priced leasing deals that cost the carmaker just over 1 billion euros through the end of September alone.

    Analysts are now re-evaluating previous assumptions regarding the premium market's true potential, after the worst excesses of easy credit have come to a screeching halt.

    In addition, increasingly stringent emission requirements are putting a massive strain on R&D budgets for Mercedes and BMW and forcing the carmakers to replace heavier engines that earn fatter margins with downsized motors.

    In the meantime, Audi reported the following for 2008:

    Audi AG increased its total revenue by 1.7 percent in 2008, to a new record level of almost EUR 34.2 billion.

    Overall, Audi increased profit before tax by some 9 percent to almost EUR 3.2 billion.

    The success achieved in 2008 is also reflected in the Audi’s key financial ratios.

    In 2008 Audi AG pushed the operating return on sales up even further from 8.0 to 8.1 percent.

    The return on sales before tax rose even more steeply by 0.6 percentage points to 9.3 percent.

    The further rise in the return on investment in a substantially more difficult economic environment is a testimony to the Audi’s intrinsic strength.

    With this ratio reaching 19.8 percent, Audi AG is one of the most profitable businesses in the international car industry.

    This isn't by any means a fluke as stated earlier. A company doesn't perform like this unless they have established a solid long-term strategy for growth and development. Audi may still not sell as much volume in the US, but they are best positioned to maintain there overall strategy of instrinsic growth as evidenced currently by their residul sales values > BMW and Mercedes-Benz overall.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Audi may still not sell as much volume in the US, but they are best positioned to maintain there overall strategy of instrinsic growth as evidenced currently by their residul sales values > BMW and Mercedes-Benz overall.

    Indeed, I think Audi has a lot of growth potential here. When I suggest that someone consider an Audi for their next purchase, the response is frequently "Audi.. hmm, I hadn't thought about that". Audi is still not even on the radar for a lot of people, and their recent big advertising push should pay off in new sales.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Similar situation for me with the 135i. Paid for it, and didn't take out an extended warranty, as I don't know my long-term goal with the car. But, I do know that so far I absolutely love the 1er, and it's unquestionably one of my top favorites of all time, regardless of price.

    It's German engineering at it's best... and worst. Awesome engine with torque that pulls like a freight train and those brilliant twin turbos that virtually eliminate lag, and are nearly instantaneous in their smooth and strong delivery of power... yet... this same award-winning engine needed a new HPFP right out of the gate. The replacement is supposedly improved, and it does seems to be perfect, but that's the kind of crazy thing the German cars are guilty of.

    I guess I could say that the German cars are to some extent like Jekyll and Hyde. Even the interior is awesome until you check out the cupholders, for example... they are totally stupid. One is an add-on to the side of the console, and the other is underneath the armrest... a lot of good that will do. The excuse?... same as always... Germans are more interested in driving than drinking beverages. That's just BS. And then some of the German cars have those over-engineered cupholders that are hidden inside some special little hidden secret panel on the dash, and when you push it, the cupholder slides and springs open like some kind of weird contraption that is supposed to grab onto your beverage container but ultimately spills your drink anyway.

    And, lately some of these German cars offer no spare tire. IMO, that just plain sucks. I'd rather have a space-saver spare tire than none. But that's just me.

    But, regardless of it's faults, my 135i ponies up more fun than anyone really ever could need from a car. It's downright incredible to drive a car that puts a smile on my face just because of the way it drives. How awesome is that?

    So... thanks Germany!!! ... I dearly love that Dr.Jekyll, in spite of Mr. Hyde being an occassional grand pain in the [non-permissible content removed]. To Hell with the prestige... never stop producing those wonderful cars that are so much F-U-N to drive. They are soooooooooo worth it.

    TM
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Phil... keep your S5 until 2013... The 2014 model will be lighter and faster.

    2014 Audi S5 and S4 to lose weight and use 4-cylinder turbos

    Weight reduction is now a major part of the game when putting a vehicle through the development process - especially for the high-performance vehicles. The current Audi S5 coupe weighs in at a hefty 3,800 pounds and the recently unveiled 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet weighs in even heavier at 4,300.

    And while the 2010 S4 and 2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet flaunt fast acceleration and an increase in fuel-economy by replacing the heavy 4.2L V8 with a lighter 333-hp 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6, there is still much more performance and fuel-efficiency to gain for these two high-performance Audis.

    According to Michael Dick, Audi’s global head of product engineering, the company is testing the next-generation S5 which weighs 880 pounds less than the current model. Dick told CARandDRIVER that the next-generation model will feature more aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel to help cut excess weight. That will applied to future Audi models including the next-generation Audi A6 and the use of those materials will increase significantly in the A4, A5, S4 and S5 in the 2014 model years.

    Great - so we’ll see a slight jump in fuel-economy once again. Not exactly. The jump is expected to be quite significant since Audi is planning to replace the supercharged 3.0L V6 in the 2010 S4 and S5 with a lighter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. That will help fuel-economy come in at the mid to high 20 mpg range. So, does that mean we’ll be giving up a faster S5 for the sake of higher miles-per-gallon?

    Dick says the 3,000 pound next-generation S5 “laps Germany’s famed Nurburgring Nordschleife eight seconds faster than the current S5.”


    link title

    TM
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    image

    The Volkswagen Concept BlueSport carries a 2.0 TDI common-rail injection engine that produces 180-hp. 0 to 62 mph comes in 6.6 seconds with a top speed of 140 mph. Mated to a 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, the Concept BlueSport returns an estimated fuel-economy of 55 mpg (US).

    More information and gorgeous pics here... link title

    Sweeeeet. :shades:

    TM
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,363
    Besides the AWD debate on the BMW forums, there is a debate regarding row MT vs. A/T.

    There is good cause for the sport aspect of rowing yourself as well as the convenience of the computer. The computer is getting so good it readily beats the pants off M/T in the quick-shift department.

    At the end of the day, to each his own. I still go with weekend M/T sport ride and daily A/T commuter sled.

    Regards,
    OW
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