NAIAS 2002 - Press Conference
January 6, 2002

NAIAS 2002 - Audi Press Conference
Article and photos by Jason Teller

There were no fireworks from Audi at this year's Detroit show, as the company displayed only previously shown vehicles. To be fair, it was the North American debut for both the new A4 Cabriolet and A4 Avant, as well as the Avantissimo concept. Audi also announced that it will sell 1,000 specially appointed TT's to commemorate its recent ALMS success.

The press conference begin with Audi AG Board Member (Marketing and Sales) Dr. Georg Flandorfer recapping Audi's world wide sales performance. Audi sold nearly 725,000 cars in 2001 which was an 11% increase over 2000 and the sixth straight year of positive sales gains.

While posting relatively modest gains in the US and Germany (4% and 6%, respectively), Audi's sales were up 13% in Europe (excluding Germany) and a whopping 24% in the UK. Japan posted gains of 17% and over 29,000 A6's were sold in China (where Audi produces that model locally).

Dr. Flandorfer spoke about Audi's continued success at Le Mans, bragging about finishing 1-2 there and retaining the ALMS titles as well. He stated that Audi now has its sites set on three staight Le Mans victories.

NAIAS 2002 - Press Conference

Audi of America Vice President Len Hunt then took the stage and, as has become customary, talked about the North American sales figures. It was with no lack of enthusiasm that he announced a new, all-time sales record with sales of 83,283 in the United States and 6,072 in Canada.

Hunt then moved on to talk about the specific vehicles on the Audi stand starting with the American Le Mans Series Commemorative Edition TT. He followed with the two new A4 derivations that will be in Audi showrooms later this year: the A4 Avant and A4 Cabriolet.

At this point Dr. Peter-Felix Tropschuh, Head of Vehicle Concepts (Audi AG), came on the stage with Hunt to present the Avantissimo concept. This presentation lasted approximately 10 minutes with both men walking around the vehicle discussing various features. Eventually they got in the car as well. The gathered crowd of journalists were able to follow all of the action inside and out on the very large video screen behind the stage.

NAIAS 2002 - Press Conference

Audi's press conference was shorter then previous years because they shared their time slot with sister company Lamborghini which was showing the Murciélago in North America for the first time.