Audi A8 is being fired in the laxary segmentSeptember 24, 2018
The name Horch is well remembered in Germany, but little is known beyond its borders. Legendary designer and entrepreneur August Horch at the dawn of the automotive industry worked for Karl Benz and in 1899 he founded his own company. Engineering impulses Horch ahead of their time and did not find understanding from the auctioneers: in 1909 they forced Horch to leave the company named after his own name, and he founded another company – Audi. In 1932, Audi and Horch, together with the companies Wanderer and DKW, joined the Auto Union AG concern, whose symbol was the famous four rings that survived to the present day. Thus, Horch – from which side do not look, the fundamental figure in the history of Audi, and the desire of marketers somehow to attract the name of the founding father to solve current problems is understandable.
Automobiles Horch, especially the period of the 30’s, are highly appreciated by collectors for their high technical level and elegant design – these were expensive and prestigious cars that only very well-off people could afford. Meanwhile, the modern Audi A8 has some problems with the image: the flagship model loses to its main competitors – the BMW seven and Mercedes S-class – in all key markets: the target audience considers Audi’s flagship sedan not prestigious enough!
So in Europe last year, the G-8 found only 5877 buyers, while the BMW 7-series – 11 533, and the Mercedes-Benz S-class – 14 757. In the US, Audi A8 last year sold 3127 copies, BMW 7 9276, Mercedes-Benz S-class – 15 888.
As it became known to the Automotive News from an informed source, the current Audi A8 of the fourth generation, after a planned restyling, which is expected in a couple of years, will receive a lacsher version of Horch with the appropriate labels on the sides of the body, similar to the Mercedes-Maybach. To distinguish Horch in a separate brand in Ingolstadt is not planned, since the Daimler experience was unsuccessful in this regard: sedans and Maybach limousines were not selling well apart from Mercedes, but they are well connected with it. The A8 of the Horch line will be identified exactly as Audi, and the name of the founding father will simply emphasize their special status – powerful engines, maximally rich equipment and an individual approach to finishing.
The first Horchs of the new wave will be supplied with a gasoline engine W12, but later the laxer-sedan can be ordered with a V8 engine. To create for the version of Horch new elongated bodies Audi, apparently, is not going to, and after all it is the original bodies – the main “counter” of the cars of the Mercedes-Maybach line. Also Audi does not plan to distribute the name Horch to other models, and this also sees a strategic loss to Daimler, who intends to release a Mercedes-Maybach crossover. Nevertheless, the marketing department of Audi very much hopes that August Horch will be able to cheer the sales of the Audi A8. In Germany, this may well work, but outside it dealers will have to tell for a long time who the Horch is and why the cars with his emblem need to put extra money.