Starting with the S4 next year, all sports versions will be badged S quattro and feature permanent four-wheel-drive and scorching performance. And as the first three-year-old A4s come back off traditional 60,000-mile fleet and contract hire cycles, Audi is particularly keen to ensure that the progress its residual values have made to date is sustained.
Audi is encouraging its dealer network to buy up as many ex-fleet A4s as possible and has developed a new computerised stock location system to inform dealers when specific cars are coming off contract in advance. Head of corporate sales Alan Maloney said Audi's brand position had come of age with the launch of the A6 and it was now a case of preserving and strengthening that position by focusing on residual values and customer service. 'We have achieved our brand positioning - everyone now sees us as a key player in the prestige market along with the other German brands,' said Maloney. 'All we have to do is sustain that.'