One of Audi's best options is now gone.
Let's imagine you are about to plunk down cash on a brand new sports car from Audi - an RS5, an R8, whatever. Now it's time to option out the car when you notice an intriguing choice on the option sheet called European delivery. European delivery is a fun option offered by many German automakers, where instead of simply having the car delivered to you in the US, you can actually go pick it up in Germany.
This may sound like a hassle, but Audi's process included a tour of the factory where your car was built, chauffeur transportation, fancy hotels, and free meals. Plus, while you are there you have the opportunity to drive your Audi on the de-restricted German Autobahn.
We say 'included' in the past tense because unfortunately, Audi has decided not to offer the European delivery in 2019. In an official statement, an Audi spokesperson said, "Due to recent changes in the [Audi Group] distribution process and the manufacturing of key Audi models outside Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Audi AG has decided to end its European Delivery program for US customers at the conclusion of 2018. As our product offerings continue to grow, we're excited to find new and innovative ways to delight our customers and deliver the Audi experience they have come to expect."
We were told there may be a small chance this option could be offered again after Audi figures out its distribution process but for now, European delivery is no more.
This news comes hot off the announcement that Audi will no longer offer the A4 with a manual transmission in the US, thus ending production of the company's last manual offering in the market. Audi tells us it enjoys offering European delivery as an option, though like most automakers, the package isn't strongly advertised at most dealerships.
We assume the take rate for European delivery was low, so Audi likely doesn't have much to lose by discontinuing it. As with the manual transmission, if you don't want to see these fun options discontinued, you have to put your money where your mouth is and go buy a brand-new car, not a used one.