By on January 31, 2016


Football fans are finalizing their Super Bowl 50 party plans, which will undoubtedly include copious amounts of heart-clogging edibles and liquids that might be confused for beer.

At the same time, Audi is tapping its foot in anticipation. The automaker will air a 60-second Super Bowl spot in an effort to get the attention of those cod-lager-swilling football fans watching the game next weekend. The price of that 60 seconds of airtime: approximately 10 million bucks.

Volkswagen’s luxury brand Audi has escaped the diesel emissions PR backlash relatively unscathed — and has also been conspicuously quiet as of late. A little too quiet. That will change during the Super Bowl — and the automaker better have something good to say.

It’s Audi — and not Volkswagen — that’s most exposed by the group’s cheating 3-liter diesel engines, yet you wouldn’t know it if you were reading any automotive websites over the last couple months.

Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn announced a 3-liter TDI Goodwill Package program for Touareg owners, which is a carbon copy of its 2-liter package, during his address to the press at the Detroit auto show. Audi, for its part, hasn’t bothered.

In fact, the last communication of substance from Audi came in November, when the automaker admitted to the cheat (after initially denying it) and pledged a fix. Since then: radio silence, with the odd crackle of static.

Audi will fork out $10 million for that single minute of Super Bowl airtime, plus the price of producing the commercial itself. Customers may balk at that cash being spent on advertising — as they should, considering the lack of compensation those customers have received while others count their gift cards. Thankfully, Volkswagen nor Porsche will be showing ads this year, thus eliminating another reason for rabid TDI fans to complain more than they already have.

Therefore, the entire weight of Volkswagen’s diesel shenanigans rests on Audi’s shoulders — albeit, for a weekend. And if Audi doesn’t have something important to say, its customers certainly will.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

18 Comments on “Audi Wants To Say Something, And Will Spend $10M To Do It...”

  • avatar

    The only people really paying attention to the scandal are “auto enthusiasts”, “professional car reviewers” and the handful of VW diesel owners directly affected.

    If VW/ audi make new models with better looks, AWD, more spacious interiors and plug-in Hybrid technology…

    …NO ONE WILL CARE or even remember the scandal 5 years from now.

    Going out of control and “unintendly acceleratin’ ” didn’t stop Toyota from selling those boring, soul-less econoboxes.

    A Lesux sending a family hurtling into a traffic intersection at the speed of sound TO THEIR DEATHS – CAUGHT ON TAPE – didn’t stop Lesux from selling its overpriced, high-end, boring, soul-less “me too” cars did it?

    This will be water under the bridge in no time.

    • 0 avatar

      In the minds of most consumers, you’re absolutely right, BTSR. In the minds of various government officials, they’re going to make life for Volkswagen very, very difficult for the foreseeable future.

      If anything, this is the deep cleaning that Volkswagen has needed for the better part of the last two decades. This debacle has done more to spur them to reorganize than anything. In a few years this will be considered by Volkswagen as some very nasty, but necessary medicine.

    • 0 avatar

      Could not agree more. VW ranked just behind ,Toyota in the latest sales figures, GM was much further behind.

    • 0 avatar


  • avatar
    heavy handle

    “Customers may balk at that cash being spent on advertising”

    Why would they? Audi needs to sell cars to pay for recalls.

    Customers would be much more upset if Audi closed shop and pretended they had never sold anything in the US, like GM did with Saturn and Hummer.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    “The new Audi R8. Buy one.”

  • avatar

    I got it, the Green Police getting arrested by the EPA.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They’ll be pushing their hybrids and upcoming EVs.

  • avatar

    Cod Lager? Ew.

  • avatar

    Fortunately for Audi, I’ll be the only viewer in the whole nation who just hits mute and goes raid the kitchen.

  • avatar

    Funny how the NFL is finally ditching Roman numerals for the Super Bowl. I suppose Super Bowl L just doesn’t have the punch that it should have, sounds like a car trim level (VW Rabbit L).

    • 0 avatar

      They’re thinking ahead. Once you get to L for 50, 54 becomes LIV, and 59 becomes LIX. Think of the jokes. Besides, once they got past the 30s, Roman numerals were incomprehensible to most people.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I perfected my understanding of Roman numerals by reading the production date on old movie credits.

        In contrast to 210delray’s point above, “MM” doesn’t have the same punch as “2000” (cue Conan O’Brien).

        • 0 avatar

          My first experience deciphering long Roman numerals was on the cover of a certain Van Halen tape in Dad’s case in the pickup.

          And to me, MM means Minneapolis-Moline.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • JMII: 3,900lbs? yep, batteries are heavy. Why does it have a tunnel in the back? Are the batteries there instead of...
  • Lou_BC: @285exp – where did I defend his comments? My deliberate misspelling “freedumb” would...
  • FreedMike: “And how much lithium is there on the planet?” Turns out there’s a crap ton of it right...
  • FreedMike: Damn, Chris, I suggested this very story idea to Tim a few days ago! Good, honest assessment about the...
  • tonyd: Fred i am 73. You don’t need to wait. My 2021 ford escape PHEV was 33,500 minus 6400 fed tax credit...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber