Paul Sansom outlines his strategy
There’s a new chief heading up the Audi Australia team, and he’s spoken frankly about some of the challenges and opportunities facing the brand.
At a media gathering in Sydney, Paul Samson outlined his vision and goals for the brand, as well as looked at a couple of issues that most likely keep him awake at night.
These include the growing demand for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Australia, particularly the C-Class, a 2017 slowdown in local Audi sales, and how best to get the people who have purchased Audi vehicles in recent years to come back for more.
It’s somewhat uncharted territory that Audi finds themselves in at the moment, this is the first time in quite a while since the local operation has seen sales numbers that aren’t rising, and rising rapidly.
Mr Samson, who cut his teeth in the business world in the banking industry in Britain, then later Jaguar, before joining Audi a little over a decade ago, says he has every intention of making Audi the best premium brand in Australia.
But he said that doesn’t necessarily mean having the most sales.
“Customers don’t care whether the brand is number one in the market or not, what matters to them is the brand experience, from the initial interaction with the brand, right through to owning and living with the vehicle.
“Audi is different to the others and I want to ensure that we are properly highlighting these unique attributes of the Audi brand and the Audi products.”
One area that Mr Sampson felt could be improved was a trimming of the substantial Audi model range in Australia.
At present, Audi has more than 60 different models/variants available across a range that features everything from almost ‘mainstream’ offerings like the sub-$30,000 A1, right through to the near $400,000 R8.
He says that variety presents huge challenges.
“We want to send a clearer message to Australian car buyers about who and what Audi is and in turn find out exactly what our customers want and when they want it.
“We need to ensure that everyone, including our dealerships are all on the same page.”
And Mr Samson’s ultimate goal during his tenure in Australia?
“To build loyalty and to achievable sustainable and consistent growth.”
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