According to the Ingolstadt-based company Audi, the last addition to the lineup, entry-level A1 model, is the first premium automobile offered in the compact car class. Despite the bold statement, we continue to believe that the Audi A1 will go head-to-head with the MINI brand, with both premium car companies targeting the same customer demographic.
Audi labels the A1 as the first and only small premium car, but with many parts shared between the A1 and its “brothers” VW Polo and Seat Ibiza, one needs to wonder what is the message passed on by the Ingolstadt-based company: are they really a MINI competitor or simply the first premium automaker to capture the compact segment?
In Switzerland, local Audi dealerships have received an internal communication that portrays, between the lines, the MINI as being their main competitor. Swiss MINI owners who are interested in a car in that segment are looking to receive heavy discounts from Audi for their A1 model. Each customer would receive 1,500 Swiss francs ($1,449 US dollars).
Price wise, both models are competitive on the European market, the Audi A1 is priced at € 34,690, € 35,900 respectively for the MINI Cooper.
We are excited to see how the A1 will perform in global markets, and more competition will essentially drive up more choices for the customers.