Audi Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

Jack R. Nerad | May 11, 2020

We've all heard of cars that can "turn on a dime." In mid-March of 2020, the American auto industry's sales turned on a dime, and Audi's sales swerved right along with them.

Audi Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

Through the first two months of this year Audi SUV sales, the brand's bread-and-butter for the past few years, were up 37% versus the first two months of 2019. The refreshed 2020 Audi Q7 was up 25%, but the recently redesigned Q3 was the astounding success, up 1,326%. (Yes, you read that right.) But then, like the entire industry did, Audi ran into a buzz saw in mid-March, and its overall sales for the month fell 52% dragging first-quarter sales into negative territory, down 14%. 

The reason for the dramatic decline in sales is so obvious it doesn't need to be stated. The question now is how long will the current coronavirus-caused downturn last?

In the midst of it all, Audi is offering coronavirus car payment plans to help its current customers who have run into sudden financial difficulty and at the same time endeavoring to persuade new customers that this is an opportune time to buy or lease a luxury car or SUV.

Audi Customer Relief Programs - Find the best deals!

For its existing loan and lease customers who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship that could cause them to miss one or more payments, Audi is offering several financial relief options. Among those options are the deferral of a payment or payments and extension of expiring leases to a new lease-end date.

Audi suggests that its Audi Financial Services (AFS) customers manage their accounts online. Through the portal, Audi customers can manage and make changes to their accounts to address changes in their financial situation. AFS says that most of the necessary alterations can be initiated online in that manner. Customers can also view statements and make payments online.

Those who need or want to speak with an Audi Financial Services representative can get answers to questions about available payment and lease turn-in options by calling (888) AFS-AUDI [(888) 237-2834]. At this time, AFS is experiencing long hold times at its contact centers while its representatives assist other customers.

Audi advises lease and finance customers did not obtain their lease or auto loan through Audi Financial Services to contact their lender or leasing company directly for relief assistance. Many lenders have programs to help those affected by the coronavirus situation with various payment options including the deferral of some payments, depending upon individual circumstances.

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Audi New Car Incentives - Find the best deals!

Like many luxury brands, Audi has not announced a national program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, it is relying on its current national, regional and local offers and incentives. They happen to be quite generous.

For example, most current Audi owners are eligible for a $2,000 loyalty incentive on 2019 model-year vehicles and a $1,000 incentive on 2020 model-year vehicles. Additionally, for the most qualified of its customers, 0% APR financing is available for up to 72 months with the first payment deferred for up to 60 days. 

Certified pre-owned vehicles are also available with loan rates as low as 1.99% APR for as long as 66 months, and Audi is waiving the first monthly payment up to $750 in value. These offers are available for most 2015-2019 Audi CPO vehicles.

Audi also offers other incentive programs that include corporate sales, military sales, a college graduate program, and a first-time buyer program. In addition, Audi has a program for diplomats and a program for foreign business professionals. Each of the programs includes special financing and lease offers to qualifying customers.

These offers expire May 31, 2020, but Audi could extend them.

Audi Factory Closures - Find the best deals!

As part of Volkswagen Group, Audi operates 18 production, design and engineering facilities in 13 countries around the world. In total it employs more than 90,000 workers, and last year it delivered 1.8 million vehicles globally. 

The company does not have a U.S. manufacturing facility, but it does produce vehicles in Mexico. The bulk of its vehicle production comes from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany, as well factories in Hungary and Belgium. Within the network of parent company Volkswagen, Audi also manufactures cars at European production facilities in Slovakia, Spain, and Russia and worldwide in Brazil, India, and China.

In response to the pandemic, Audi factories suspended production, idling more than 75,000 workers. At the end of April, production slowly resumed in Europe.

“On the way back to the first phase after the production shutdown, health precautions for the protection of the employees have the highest priority,” explained Chairman of the Works Council Peter Mosch, in a statement. “The restart will be accompanied by a comprehensive package of measures to ensure that the employees’ health is protected.” 

Many Audi dealers in the U.S. are open for sales, service and parts business. Dealership operations are regarded as essential in many locales, and several Audi dealers are selling new and used vehicles online, with some offering "touchless" at-home delivery.

Audi Economic Outlook & Sales Forecast - Find the best deals!

Beginning in mid-March, self-quarantine and stay-at-home restrictions sent overall vehicle sales crashing in the United States. Executives from Audi have offered no comment on the brand's sales outlook for the remainder of the year or on the overall outlook for 2020 calendar-year sales.

The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate tumbled to a dismal 11.2 million in March, a vivid contrast to J.D. Power's pre-virus sales forecast of 16.9 million sales for the calendar year 2020. As this is written, J.D. Power's most recent 2020 outlook for total vehicle sales is 12.6 to 14.5 million units.

For the balance of the year, auto sales results will be hurt by fear of the disease itself and overall economic hardship. As the country emerges from the epidemic, vehicle production lost to plant closures could also injure sales prospects.

The information in this article is from Audi and was accurate as of May 8, 2020. Plans and programs may have changed since that date. Be sure to confirm with Audi that offers discussed in this article remain valid.

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