Prestige on the cheap
Upmarket Audi is out to snare young buyers
AFINANCE deal that covers all running costs except fuel for the first three years of the car’s life is central to Audi’s bold play to attract younger buyers to its new entry-level hatchback, the A1.
Priced from $29,900 and costing $169 a week, the A1 is Audi’s first foray into what has traditionally been a price point reserved for topspec models of Japanese hatches such as the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla.
The move is part of Audi’s strategy to snare entry-level prestige buyers before they can afford one of its rivals’ vehicles — the Mini Cooper is $33,850, Mercedes-Benz B-Class starts at $37,500, BMW’s 1 Series 118i is $41,000 and the entry level Lexus IS250 is $55,900.
The company is confident the ‘‘Audi ownership experience’’ will be positive enough to keep A1 owners moving through the ranks of Audi products as their families — and income — expands.
‘‘The A1 gives us the possibility to get new customers and then have an opportunity to keep them,’’ Audi Australia managing director Uwe Hagen says.
Audi’s research has shown younger buyers and ‘‘urban professionals’’ want an all-inclusive price and the $169 contract for the 1.4-litre manual A1 runs for three years and covers scheduled servicing and tyre and rim insurance for the life of the deal, along with the first year’s comprehensive insurance.
‘‘The only thing we don’t cover is the petrol,’’ Hagen says of the finance deal. ‘‘This finance package is a way for our customers to be assured they won’t face any additional costs to operate their vehicle.’’