Audi Reinvents Itself

Anyone who follows auto news or environmental news, even passively is aware of the recent disaster VW and Audi have been in the midst of over the past new months. What they did was install software into their cars that cheated on emission tests to say that their “clean diesel” would only turn on while being tested, and allowed their cars to pass with flying colors. All the while the second they pulled of the lot they would go back to being dirty diesel spewing cars that were as bad as any other on the road. In fact, they are actually illegal in the state of California and its causing them a huge headache and money issue in the billions. The reason being is that in California if your car does not pass smog you don’t just get a slap on the wrist or fine like in other states, you are not allowed to drive that car, period. California has thousands of these vehicles on the road, so Audi needs to devise a plan to recall and repair all these cars in one fail swoop. To date all their attempts and proposals have fallen on their face and it is a real problem for them.¬†

Volkswagan (VW) main profit contribution plans to invest about a third of their R and D budget which is a nice 4.69 billion dollars in 2015 in digital services electric cars and autonomous driving by 2025. ¬†This is an aggressive play and you can see that Audi really wants to be ahead of the pack in this regard. In many ways this was the only play they could have considering the state of the industry and where it is headed. Not to mention if they are ever going to restore faith in their users they need to come out as a beacon of environmentalism. This is going to be an interesting play, but what many people are thinking will more likely be the case, is that this is just going to be a slow death of the German automaker. There is very little we know for certain, but there is definitely not going to be a head of the pack. The reason is that they are getting into the game plain and simple. The reality is that Toyota, Tesla, and even GM are way ahead of the curve in this regard. GM and Ford both have big time partnerships with Uber and Lyft respectively to have a whole fleet of autonomous vehicles within 2 years. this is an ambitious goal, and it remains to be seen how green this fleet will be but it at least show they have a play, and have been working on it continuously for 2 years. Right now Audi still needs to get to even still point of picking someone to partner with, and they are essentially the kid at prom who waited til the last minute to find a date and all that remains are some real swamp doggies. Audi might be able to pull it off, but they won’t get lucky tonight that’s for sure.