05 Sep 2009

Audi of America President Insults Idiots and Poseurs

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Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen made some indiscreet comments in a recent interview with Lawrence Ulrich that the media has been tsk tsk’ing over.

(Nysschen) dismissed (the Chevrolet Volt) plug-in hybrid as “a car for idiots,” saying that few consumers will be willing to pay $40,000 — the Volt’s estimated base price — for a car that competes against $25,000 sedans and conventional hybrids. Nor, he noted, is the Volt a luxury car whose green-technology costs will be excused because it also delivers prestige or performance.

“No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla,” he said. “So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

He did add that plug-in hybrids are good in concept and hold advantages over diesels in stop-and-go driving. But for the moment, de Nysschen noted, electric vehicles (EVs) are more about making a statement.

“They’re for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are,” he said.

One Feedback on "Audi of America President Insults Idiots and Poseurs"

Scott D

That is why the Prius vastly outsells hybrid versions of other nameplates where the hybrid factor is less visible. There is a market for people who want to wear a green badge just as there is a market for people who want to be seen carrying a Prada bag.


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