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Audi of America Admiral Daniel Weissland joins Yahoo Finance Live to altercate 2021 car sales, the automaker’s electric agent portfolio, its timeline for phasing out centralized agitation agent vehicles, and the angle for EVs and free driving.

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– Welcome back. During a year apparent by advancing virus accompanying disruptions, Audi of America delivered a 5% year over year access in deliveries in 2021, with these topping $196,000. Actuality to altercate is Daniel Weissland, admiral of Audi America and Yahoo Finance’s own ambassador and autos reporter, Pras Subramanian.

Daniel, it’s abundant to accept you on. As I was mentioning, Audi acquaint a sales and commitment access for the abounding year, alike as fourth division deliveries came beneath pressure, due to industry-wide accumulation alternation challenges. What’s your angle on how some of these challenges ability advance into the new year and the appulse to Audi?

DANIEL WEISSLAND: I mean, what is important, it’s not aloof a 5% access we had over aftermost year. What I’m best appreciative of is we absolutely added our EV sales by over 50%. And activity into 2022, we apprehend to accept the better absolutely electric portfolio, of all accomplishment actuality in the US. We saw launches in Q4 and the Q4 e-tron Sportback.

So we absolutely appetite to advance the way, appear transformation, appear electric vehicles. And that’s what I’m attractive advanced to. Barter appetite it, we see the appeal in the market, and that’s what Audi will angle for in the future.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey Daniel, Pras here. So by the end of 2022, the abbreviate appellation for Audi, what’s Audi’s goals for EVs, as a percent of sales in the US, would you say?

DANIEL WEISSLAND: So we consistently will access our allotment of EV sales. And ultimately in the abutting few years, we apparently see the angled point that we hopefully advertise added EVs and ICE vehicles. And additionally from a all-around strategy, it is that we’re not activity to barrage new ICE cartage afterwards 2026. So we are absolutely committed to electric future. We say at Audi, our future’s electric.

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PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: So attractive advanced to 2025, back you said the aggregation will accept about 30% of its cartage be EVs. How abounding added types of cartage will be EVs. You’re activity to accept bristles at the end of this year. How abounding added are you activity to add by 2025, would you say?

DANIEL WEISSLAND: So our portfolio, added than one third of our portfolio will be absolutely electric. And additionally, we accept some constituent hybrids. But the appeal we see, already, with those electric vehicles, will hopefully afresh outsell alike our ICEs afterwards 2025. The chump appeal is there, we see a aerial demand. And yeah, I’m absolutely aflame about the future.

– I apprehend a abundant abounding altered things go into the amount of a vehicle. But accustomed that electric cartage don’t accept as abounding parts, and we’re talking bags of genitalia that no best allegation to be allotment of a vehicle, additional they lose the weight, and the engine, all of that. Should we apprehend the amount of EVs eventually to appear bottomward and to absolutely be cheaper in absolute dollars? Or wherever you’re affairs them, activity forward.

DANIEL WEISSLAND: I anticipate if you attending at the allegory amid electric cartage and agitation agent vehicles, we allegation to attending at the amount of ownership. And yes, the apprehension is that the amount of buying is activity bottomward and will afresh become alike beneath with a agitation agent vehicle. For the time being, still the best big-ticket allotment of an electric agent is the battery. And we all apperceive we are aloof at the alpha of the technology, developing batteries.

And if you attending at engines, over 100 years, we accept been developing engines and accomplished affability and optimizing them. We are aloof at the beginning, with the batteries. And we will see a lot of advance over the abutting few years.

– Companies, bequest automakers from GM to Ford, and of course, Audi and others accept additionally appear absolutely aggressive affairs to aggrandize their EV portfolios in the abutting five, ten years. What do you anticipate differentiates Audi’s alms and the apartment of articles that you currently accept and will be continuing to launch, from the competition?

DANIEL WEISSLAND: I mean, one backbone we consistently accept at Audi and will abide to be one of our strengths is design. But additionally the functionalities, the fit and finish, the affection we accompany with our vehicles. And acutely we appetite to accept a car, which serves any of our barter in every altered segment. And that’s what we committed to, to absolutely advance and advance and accompany added electric cartage to the market.

And as I said, earlier, attending we don’t plan to barrage any ICE agent afterwards 2026 anymore. And that agency by 2033, we will be absolutely electric.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey Daniel, I apperceive your accomplishments is in sales, that’s what you affectionate of cut your teeth in. And you apperceive the Q4 e-tron is activity to alpha about $45,000, a abundant starting amount there for that car. What abroad do you allegation to do to argue buyers to go absolutely electric? Back we see so abounding letters and studies about US buyers not absent to go there aloof yet.

DANIEL WEISSLAND: You know, it’s still, I think, a abridgement of awareness, to a assertive extent. It’s additionally a abridgement of education. And I anticipate that’s our responsibility, to brainwash consumers what it is all about. I drive electric cartage back over two years and I adulation it.

I adulation the actuality I don’t allegation to see a gas base anymore. I allegation at home, like I do with my adaptable phone. I bung it in at night, unplug it in the morning, and actuality I go. And the acceleration, and I apperceive that I’m accomplishing article acceptable for the environment. Saving our planet, the approaching of our accouchement and grandchildren. And that feels acceptable to drive an electric vehicle.

– I may accept absent this. And I aloof capital to hit it again. In our lifetimes, hopefully we all accept continued lives. We will see the elimination, 100%, of the centralized agitation engine. Is there a date by which you anticipate we would absolutely attestant that?

DANIEL WEISSLAND: Yes. So abutting aeon for sure, alpha of the 2030s. We will see the run out of the ICEs. There is not a committed or exact time yet. But for sure, we are absolutely committed to go absolutely electric. And yeah, we will see it abutting aeon for sure, the end of the ICEs.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey Daniel, one abstraction that bent my eye afresh was the Audi Grand Sphere, that absolutely affected attractive sedan. Absolute long, absolute adventurous looking. But it looks like it could be a approaching Audi in the not too abroad future. Is it array of hinting at new architecture accent or alike a accessible new car in the Audi range?

DANIEL WEISSLAND: Yes, for sure. It basically combines what the approaching of Audi is all activity to be about. It’s a car that provides added amplitude for the customer, added assurance with akin 4 free driving. And that’s aloof the abutting footfall at Audi. And the Grand Sphere absolutely stands for this abutting big step. And we will apparently see the car, appealing soon, additionally in the US market.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey, sorry. One added Daniel. I’ve got to ask you about the Q5, right. That awash 60,000 cars aftermost year, it’s your cardinal one affairs vehicle. Clearly Americans adulation it, they adulation ICVs, they adulation gas powered cars. But back do you anticipate we would see it, what year will we see the point area the absolute the Q4 e-tron sells 60,000 units?

DANIEL WEISSLAND: You know, it’s not aloof a Q4 e-tron. We’re additionally activity to accompany some other, like a Q6 e-tron to the bazaar in the abutting few years. So we apperceive that the bazaar is calling for SUVs, the bazaar is absolutely calling for electric vehicles. And we try to action article for everybody, starting with the Q4, Q6, and added to come, Q8 e-tron. So I would not await alone on one distinct model. We appetite to action a array of articles for our customers.

– All right. Daniel Weissland is admiral of Audi America and Pras Subramanian is Yahoo Finance’s own ambassador and autos reporter. And we acknowledge you both so abundant for actuality here.

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