Is Corona driving forward the mobility of the future?
The statistics show that people currently feel safest and more protected when travelling in their own cars rather than using public transport. Those who can, prefer to drive in their own car – to minimize contact with others. Mr. Hoffmann, has the importance of the car changed significantly due to Corona?
Oliver Hoffmann: The Corona pandemic is an enormous challenge for the world, for our country and for us as a company. But for Audi this means that individual mobility has become much more important. Interest in cars has grown considerably − among the young generation as well who have mostly been using public transport up to now.
Ms. Zorn, what changes have you noticed, as the head of product marketing?
Christiane Zorn: The Corona crisis has hit Audi and the entire industry right in the middle of a transformation process in which digitization and sustainability are playing a pivotal role. We see a clear trend: the digital, virtual purchasing options are becoming increasingly important. We are liaising closely with the regions, markets and retailers and defining appropriate measures together. For example, a year ago we made contactless car buying possible as well as giving online sales advice, a virtual tour of the vehicles, and a contactless handover. And the delivery figures of the past few months make us optimistic about the future.
Will there be more such online services in the future?
Christiane Zorn: Definitely. When a customer realizes how easy it is to get advice online, they will certainly stick with it in the future and say: Hey, if it’s so easy to get in touch with my car dealer online, I’ll do it like that again in the future.
To what extent is it important to react quickly now?
Christiane Zorn: The new target groups are interested in design, digitization, connectivity, and innovative technical features. The car of the future, the Audi of the future, is the connected technology of the smart car. Together with our Technical Development Unit we are conducting studies around the world to ensure that our future models are at the cutting edge and really meet customer needs.
Mr. Hoffmann, issues such as the environment and climate protection are particularly important for 20-30 year-olds. How do you meet these needs?
Oliver Hoffmann: Corona is confirming what we already know − people want to be mobile, but without having a guilty conscience. This means that they are very interested in environmentally-friendly cars, but also in the way the cars are manufactured. That’s why sustainability is the key corporate goal and CO2 compliance is a top priority for us.
We have to learn to live with Corona long-term. Have there been any thoughts regarding making appropriate adjustments to the interior, the design and the functions of Audi cars?
Christiane Zorn: Yes, that is important. The interior of the vehicles is increasingly becoming a living space. It should convey a certain lifestyle feeling with a feel-good factor. In addition, there is the subject of “Functions On Demand”. We are enabling our customers to add digital functions at a later stage − this will allow them to experience more flexibility with the car in the future. The Corona crisis means we all have to become more flexible. This also applies to cars, of course.