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Audi Sport CEO Stephen Winkelmann says the performance sub-brand will turn more of its focus toward non-European markets going forward.
The performance brand’s current portfolio consists mostly of small vehicles such as the S3 and S4, the recently launched RS3 and the TTRS. North Americans don’t buy small cars in massive amounts, however, so the brand will start to turn its attention toward vehicles they are interested in – those being SUVs and crossovers, mainly.
“To get out of the ‘Euro-centric world’ we are in today, most of the cars we are going to launch in the future will be ‘world cars’ or ‘global cars’,” Winkelmann told Motoring.com.au in a recent interview.
“We want to have a shift into the SUV segment and we want to have cars which are more likely to be ‘world cars’, to have cars which are almost equally distributed in the bigger-selling regions of this world.”
It seems inevitable that a majority of the eight new S or RS vehicles Audi promised would arrive before year’s end will be SUVs or crossovers that will be headed to North America. The performance brand is hoping to win buyers not just in the U.S. but China and Japan as well, even though Winkelmann acknowledges that North America is where the majority Audi Sport’s focus is.
“For now, our focus is mainly North America,” he continued. “But there are also big opportunities throughout Asia, the Middle East, and also Australia, South Africa and Japan.”