Keogh spreads the good word about diesel and Audi
Herndon – When he was head of product planning and marketing for Audi of America in 2009, Scott Keogh was a major driver of the company’s decision to make a significant statement about – and commitment to – clean-diesel power in the U.S. market. That’s when Audi launched Audi A3 and Audi Q7 versions powered by Turbo Direct Injection engines and began airing TV ads in support of diesel.
And the rest is automotive history. TDI now accounts for about 55 percent of all sales of the Audi A3 in the United States and about one-third of Q7 sales. In 2013, Audi is doubling down by offering clean-diesel versions of four more of its largest-volume models in the American market: Audi A8, Audi A7, Audi A6 and Audi Q5. Keogh unveiled them at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week.
The Audi chief also expanded his role as the foremost proponent of clean-diesel vehicles and technology in the U.S. auto market.
Fuel-efficient, emission-reduced clean diesel “is the best choice for drivers seeking to save at the pump, for a nation seeking to free itself from the grip of foreign oil, for a society seeking smart ways to cut greenhouse gases, for a world seeking more sustainable mobility,” Keogh told journalists assembled in Los Angeles.
And there, Audi also unveiled what Keogh called the “Audi TDI clean diesel clock,” which tracks how much gasoline Americans have saved over the last few years because they’ve purchased TDI-powered Audi A3 sedans and Audi Q7 utility vehicles.
The “clock” in the background reached 4.5-million-plus gallons of gasoline while Keogh spoke, and he predicted that “we’re probably going to have to add an eighth digit” as Audi adds four more TDI models to its stable.
Keogh also pitched clean diesel directly to emissions-sensitive Californians, noting that over the last 12 months, more than one-third of Audi A3 TDIs sold in the U.S. were sold in California. And over the previous two years, California buyers bought as many Audi Q7 TDIs as people in New York, Florida and Pennsylvania combined.
Clean diesel “dramatically improves both” air quality and vehicle performance, Keogh said. “And that’s why Californians are embracing it.”
Along with the rest of America.