The news that Audi has overtaken BMW in the UK doesn’t entirely come as a surprise (Audi living in the fast lane, MW May 19). It seems to me that one of the primary reasons for Audi’s upturn is that its designs have been consistently improving, while competitor BMW has simply turned quirky (though some would say ugly). Sadly, its American design “guru”, Chris Bangle, managed to design any real “style” out of the last range. Audi, meanwhile, has begun to create and strengthen real iconic, identifiable features such as the detailing around the radiator grill casing on its new models.
Audi’s brand communication has been consistently strong for quite a while, and whether it was flavour of the month or not, this has contributed to its sense of solid reliability. Now it has added some exciting, aspirational and “brand defined” designs along with a clearer sense of brand personality that should keep it in the fast lane for some time. Conversely, I suspect BMW has something of an M25 rush hour ahead of it.