The Audi A3 sedan concept is one of the sleeper hits of the Geneva Auto Show that's going on right now. Taking the A3's compact dimensions and making it a sedan produced something that's unique, and not an Audi-fied Volkswagen Jetta as one might fear. Instead, it looks like an A4 that's been left in the dryer too long. It turns out that if it does get built (and that's all but certain), that it will be heading to the U.S. sometime in 2013.
According to Automotive News, the U.S. and China are natural markets for the A3 sedan. Both countries tend to eschew hatchbacks over sedans. The five-door-only body of the current A3 has hindered sales of the car in the U.S., with Audi moving only about 6,500 last year. While there's no guarantee that a sedan would improve sales, one only has to look around at other segments to see the fate of other hatchbacks. Take compact cars for example. Remember the Civic hatchback? Corolla hatchback? Once upon a time there was even a Sentra hatch. Gone, gone and gone, all replaced with sedans. When a sporty version is needed, there's a coupe, or maybe just a gussied up sedan.
This isn't to say that the A3 competes against entry-level compacts, but the underlying principle is the same, maybe even magnified. Hatchbacks aren't considered particularly luxurious in the U.S., and hatchback-only vehicles from luxury manufacturers have tended to fare poorly. Bringing the next A3 here as a sedan makes a ton of sense.
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In the same article, Automotive News notes that although U.S. dealers are enthusiastic about the Q3 small crossover, Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi AG board member for sales and marketing, says that no decision on bringing it to the U.S. has been made, but even if it does make it to the U.S, it could be a full year after it goes on sale in Europe.
Isn't that always the case?
Source: Automotive News