Hit by its emissions scandal, Audi introduced its newest technology-packed A8 high-end saloon on Tuesday, focused on surpassing rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW as it has a hard time to conquer its biggest-ever corporate crisis.
Recently Munich district attorneys arrested an Audi worker in relation with dieselgate, the latest obstacle to the automaker after the German government a month previously had accused the automaker of cheating on emissions tests.
On Tuesday Audi moved the focus back to its products with its leading management hosting 2,000 guests in Barcelona to reveal the brand-new A8, whose Level-3 self-driving technology permits the vehicle to totally control driving at as much as 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour, going ahead of the Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7-Series.
Having slipped behind its two German competitors on worldwide sales in 2016, Audi has run the risk of stalling without development and needed a new prestige product, stated Stefan Bratzel, head of the Center of Automotive Management think-tank near Cologne.
“Development is key in premium car-making,” Bratzel stated. “The brand-new A8 will polish the brand’s image and line-up at a crucial time.”
Even Audi realized that amid ongoing investigation, consistent pressure on its chief executive for his crisis management and experts’ criticism of Audi’s aging car model, the new A8 creates a chance for a clean break.
“It’s pleasing that we are able to set a positive sign for genuine ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’, advancement through technology,” R&D chief Peter Mertens stated.
Mercedes and BMW have accelerated their autonomous-driving advancement programs with Mercedes owner Daimler joining forces with auto parts maker Robert Bosch in April and BMW working together with other companies consisting of U.S. parts maker Delphi and chipmaker Intel.
Featuring a more distinctive design and a foot massager for back seat guests, the new A8 declares the start of a series of redesigns and the model launches at Audi including an electric sport-utility vehicle (SUV) to compete Tesla’s Model X, the all-new Q4 and Q8 SUVs and revamped A6 and A7 model lines.