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Audi and Fiat at loggerheads over Q2 and Q4 badges

  • Audi and Fiat at loggerheads over Q2 and Q4 badges

  • Audi and Fiat at loggerheads over Q2 and Q4 badges

  • Audi and Fiat at loggerheads over Q2 and Q4 badges

Audi and Fiat at loggerheads over Q2 and Q4 badges

In a week where all the naming spotlights are on the new Jaguar F-Pace and Bentley Bentayga, there’s another badging argument brewing quietly on the Continent. The Fiat group is refusing to allow Audi rights to the Q2 and Q4 nameplates.

Alfa Romeo owns the badges, previously used to denote its two- and four-wheel drive models such as the 159 Q4. They are not currently active, however, and CAR understands that Audi has approached the Fiat Chrysler group (FCA) to acquire the names.

Turin’s not budging, however. And it’s becoming quite a political hot potato.

Why does Audi want the Q2 and Q4 badges?

Audi is currently spending €22 billion on new and incremental products – and this is creating a void of car badges required to name this increasingly fragmented product line-up. In a perfect world, Audi would lock up all the Q1-Q9 badges in its trademark cupboard.

The new Q1 baby SUV, scooped by CAR previously and confirmed officially by Audi under the AU276 codename, should in rights be a Q2 under the brand’s logical nomenclature. The Bavarians still have almost two years to pry the highly desirable Q2 acronym from the ownership of FCA.

While they are at it, Audi would also like to acquire the rights to the Q4 model designation. A source from Ingolstadt tells CAR: ‘In an ideal world, Q1 would be reserved for an even smaller crossover derived from the next A1. The Q4 suffix would come handy to fill the void between Q3 and Q5.’

Why is Fiat refusing to give the Q2/Q4 names to Audi?

In an ideal world, the naming rights to the Q2 and Q4 acronyms would lie with Audi, not with FCA. After all it, already sells the Q3, Q5 and Q7, with more to come.

But to the dismay of Rupert Stadler and his team, Fiat’s Alfa Romeo division got in there first. Fair enough.

Still, a certain Sergio Marchionne is calling the shots at FCA. The Italo-Canadian chairman may not be categorically opposed to selling the rights to the two model designations his premium brand no longer needs (and probably never did), but he will reportedly pull out all the stops in order to not strike a deal with arch-enemy VW scion Ferdinand Piech and his lot – which puts Audi in a naming dilemma.

An interesting one to watch…

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