The Norwegian approach

Nowhere has e-mobility been so readily embraced as in Norway.

By 2025, all new cars in Norway will be electric – and the Audi e-tron is playing a significant part in achieving that goal according to Elin Sinervo, Director Audi Norway.

22 February, 2021

Strong purchase incentives have paved the way for e-mobility in Norway for some years already

Why is the acceptance of electromobility in Norway so high?
Elin Sinervo:
An obvious reason is the strong purchase incentives in place to motivate consumers to choose zero emission when buying a new car. This has paved the way for e-mobility in Norway for years already. But what is really the key, now that the market is mature and comfortable with the electric drivetrain, is that once you go electric you won’t go back. We have the insight to prove that EV owners are determined to stay electric, and this is strongly motivated by the cars, not just incentives. Less noise, better acceleration, the range you need, and it’s good for the environment.

Why is the Audi e-tron in particular incredibly successful in Norway?
Elin Sinervo:
First of all, the Audi e-tron is the perfect embodiment of the Audi brand. It has taken the quattro brand to the next level, it’s digital and full of the features you would expect from an SUV in the premium segment branded with the four rings. With the e-tron 50 version introduced at an even more competitive price, we see that the dreamers have been able to convert dream to reality being in position to buy an Audi SUV.  Soon to be accompanied by the Audi e-tron GT, we can add even more brand value with Audi Sport. 

What do you think has changed most in Norway's automotive industry in the last years?
Elin Sinervo:
The automotive industry is more fragmented, as a result of the electrification of the market. New brands pop up almost overnight, as established and well-known brands have more or less disappeared from one day to the next. If you have not yet entered the electric race, you are likely to disappear from the Norwegian market in 2021. And during the past few years, we have seen examples of OEMs launching EVs that have instantly taken their brands from zero to top of the charts in short time.

Chinese customers prefer large vehicles, with plenty of storage – are there any special requests from Audi customers who are typically Norwegian?
Elin Sinervo:
The tow bar! Most of us hardly ever use it, but still it is vital point for customers in Norway. When we could confirm the tow bar prior to the launch of Audi e-tron, we could see an instant and massive rise in interest. The stereotypical Norwegian brings skis to the mountains on the weekend, and therefore the possibility to attach a roof box is also important. This last point gives us a clear advantage facing our competitor Tesla Model X. Norway is a nation with a challenging topography, and cold winters. The electric range is important but is now more of a hygiene factor, as the battery technology has improved rapidly the past couple of years.

Who is the ‘typical’ Audi customer in Norway? Elin Sinervo: The well-known Audi customer is back in our folder, and quite a few of these have had a stopover with other brands while waiting for us to join the electric race. The success with e-tron has also placed us on the map for a good share of new customers. We see that the traditional premium customers have us top of mind, and same now goes for customers interested in elements such as progressive, well-designed and tech-oriented vehicles.

If you have not yet entered the electric race, you are likely to disappear from the Norwegian market in 2021

Photo: Axxon Media

We like to think that the Norwegian market is a sneak preview into the future of the European car market

What are Audi Norway goals in 2021?
Elin Sinervo:
This year, we’ll have a stronger portfolio of EVs, with the Q4 e-tron representing a great volume potential, and the e-tron GT will add value to our brand strength and give the Audi Sport brand more prominence. Even though the e-tron GT is a brand builder first and foremost, we also expect to see quite a few of these on the Norwegian roads this year. As we are building our arsenal, we will also face more and stronger competition. 2020 was an all time high for us, and our aim is to recreate that success this year. 

What can Audi learn from the Norwegian market?
Elin Sinervo:
We like to think that the Norwegian market is a sneak preview into the future of the European car market. Obviously, the purchase incentives have led to an early adoption of EVs here in Norway, but we see the same trends appearing in bigger markets across Europe. E-mobility demands new knowledge and new training for our team and dealerships, and it will change the aftersales market with the reduced need for spare parts, oil services and thorough service operations. This is something that will change our business model within a short time span, and something other markets should start preparing for already now. 

We want to be an active contributor to the goal of a 100 percent electrical new car market in 2025. This is an aim launched by the Norwegian authorities, and we stand firmly behind the 2025 project. This would be an historical achievement, and we have every intention of contributing to the success. 

Photo: Axxon Media