The all-new Audi Q2 is the new entry point to the Audi Q SUV series. Will it be a leasing winner? Martyn Collins finds out from Audi Q2 product manager Chris Batty.
AUDI’S most important new model of 2016, its baby SUV, the Q2, has finally hit UK shores. We caught up with Audi Q2 product manager Chris Batty at the UK launch to ask him how Audi’s new baby premium SUV will appeal to company car buyers.
Do you have any idea what the fleet versus retail mix will be for the new Q2?
“Approximately 30% fleet mix, so the majority will be retail customers. I still think it will be popular in the company car market, but because of the market sector that it’s in, it will be a natural retail car.
“Obviously you’ve got other cars such as the A3 which is a key company car. The Q2 is targeted at a different kind of customer, so it’s definitely more of a retail prospect, but that’s not to say it doesn’t hold appeal for the company car buyer.
“It could potentially be a grower moving forward. The whole SUV market is moving so much, so it’s only natural that the company SUV market is going to grow.”
What do you anticipate being the key Q2 company model?
“Well, you’ve got the 1.4TFSi petrol, but you’ve also got the 1.6 TDi diesel. The diesel has the lowest emissions, but the petrol with the COD or Cylinder On Demand technology, really helps with the economy. But overall we reckon the most popular Q2 engine will be the 1.4 petrol.
Our register of interest in the car currently totals 18,000 and 52% of those were potential conquest buyers – which is really positive – Chris Batty, Audi Q2 product manager
“I think diesel will always have its place, people are still going to want diesel, but we’ve seen in the small car segment that petrol is more popular than diesel.
“Q2 is just as much at home in the country as it is in the city. For people who want the car in the city, then petrol is the perfect engine for them.”
What do you think are the Q2’s key attractions for the company buyer?
“I think it’s the prospect that it’s a small compact SUV, for people who are looking for that taller driving position but still want a small footprint of a car.
“Then there’s the price point, it becomes the new ‘Q’ entry point for us. So anyone looking for a small, premium SUV – there’s not much out there that’s Q2-sized. So you’ve got a new alternative potentially to someone who’s driving a more mainstream manufacturer. This is a chance for them to get into a premium small SUV.
“Then there’s the strong predicted residual values – certainly on a monthly payment it’s affordable, with Q2 costing £275 monthly on a three-year contract hire lease for the 1.6 TDi Sport.”
This a very new sort of Audi, although the brand values remain the same – in terms of getting this out to company buyers, are you going to be doing anything different?
“I think the big thing about the Q2 is that it’s unmistakably Audi, but it does look different and one of the big benefits about that is that it will appeal to a new audience. So potentially to someone who’s not considered an Audi before.
“The Q2 doesn’t look like the rest of the Audi range, so straight away that might open it up to new customers.
‘We’re seeing the Q2 as a conquest car for the young professionals.’
“There’s a big social media influence around the Q2’s marketing, because people we’re targeting the car at generally spend a lot of time on there. That’s probably the only difference in the marketing, but the car itself, because of the looks, will widen the appeal and that appeal will bring a new audience.
“Our register of interest in the car currently totals 18,000 and 52% of those were potential conquest buyers – which is really positive.”