2015 Audi A3 Launching With Help of Dealer-Backed Hipster Parties

By Jacob Brown | March 10, 2014
EDM (electronic dance music for those of you who need it spelled out), minimalist furniture, bacon-garnished food, craft beer from local breweries, and refurbished warehouses: Sounds like the makings for a typical weekend in the Chelsea District of New York City. Or, if you're on the other side of the country, perhaps Hollywood. But for the rest of the country, these sounds pretty against the grain: counterculture. It sounds like a hipster party. Apparently this is what you should expect at your local Audi dealership for the upcoming launch of the 2015 Audi A3 sedan. Yup, that's what Audi is doing. In a 64-page document distributed to Audi's national dealership network, the automaker outlined a plan to invite young, upwardly mobile people who have somewhere north of $30,000 to spend on a new luxury sedan. In Portland, Ore., for instance--a ginormous hipster capital of the Pacific Northwest--an Audi dealership is inviting 500 to 600 guests, showering them in craft beer, bacon, and chocolate chip cookies. Some dealers, which chose to remain anonymous in a story by Automotive News, just don't understand what the hell a hipster is or why they're trying to attract this all-too-different customer base. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has been a runaway hit for Audi's fellow German rival, becoming the third-best-selling model in the company's portfolio in a matter of months. It represents a huge opportunity to get new shoppers into its cars. In fact, Mercedes-Benz says 80 percent of its CLA buyers are new to the brand. Once they're hooked, they move up with the brand to other models like the C-, E-, and eventually S-Class, which all cost considerably more money. Audi sees the same opportunity. But as a traditionally older-skewing brand, Audi has a challenge on its hands to get new shoppers into its A3 sedan. We're driving it later this week to see whether or not it's up to snuff. But more importantly, Audi needs to convince Generation Y that it's as relevant as the CLA, and it needs to convince its dealers to embrace younger shoppers instead of telling them to turn the music down. Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)