I think it is best to quote the new CEO on this issue.
Audi insiders say interim CEO Bram Schot is putting America first when it comes to the brand's much-anticipated e-tron electric crossover.
Schot, who was appointed after last month's arrest of Rupert Stadler in connection with the diesel emissions scandal, has scrapped plans to reveal the EV in Brussels, where it is produced. Instead, he'll stage the debut in the U.S. The date and location are expected to be decided this week.
"Schot wanted to set a new emphasis since the American market will be its most important when it launches," said one source.
Due to arrive in showrooms late this year, the e-tron is the first direct Tesla challenger from a German premium brand.
Schot argued for a switch to the U.S. because initial success will depend heavily on American buyers. The U.S. is the second-biggest market for battery electric vehicles after China, with nearly 105,000 sold last year vs. 33,000 for No. 3 Norway, according to the International Energy Agency.
Until the e-tron becomes popular in China, which will likely require local manufacturing, Schot figures the crossover will have to impress buyers in places such as California.
Good for the US. Norway may be special in their minds but we are the market. I'm looking forward to getting an opportunity to purchase an e-tron.