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Audi Exec Expects New A4 to Be Immune from Leasing Crisis

August 29, 2008

DETROIT– The crisis in automotive leasing is unlikely to affect the new Audi A4compact luxury sedan, which has had a 70 percent lease mix in the currentgeneration, product manager Carter Balkcom said, according to Automotive News

Balkcom saidthe A4’s strong residuals should protect it from the pullback in lease financingbeing generated by other automakers’ large SUVs and pickups. He expects thethree-year residual for the new A4 to be about 56 percent — an increase overthe current model’s 51 percent. 

Speakingat a preview of the A4, which goes on sale in mid-September, Balkcom said fueleconomy-conscious buyers have gravitated to the turbo-powered four-cylinderengines in the current A4. Balkcom also said Audi is not near a decision onwhether the A4 will be produced at the plant parent Volkswagen AG is buildingin Chattanooga, Tenn. He said a decision is unlikely beforenext spring.

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