Semiconductor Shortage Package Is Audi's Strangest Option Yet

Industry News / 5 Comments

It removes features from your Audi and saves you money.

At the recent New York Motor Show, we discussed the current semiconductor chip shortage with a few executives. We won't name any names, but the outlook is not good. Some manufacturers have gone as far as halting production for a few weeks, but the general strategy these days is to remove some features. This allows manufacturers to continue selling cars, and in most cases, they give customers a decent discount. The manufacturers are pretty open about this strategy. They don't try to sugarcoat the situation, as most people are aware of the global shortage and are willing to make some sacrifices. But now, Audi has introduced what it calls the Semiconductor Shortage Package.

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According to posts on Reddit, this appears to be taking place at a dealer level. Apparently, cars on the dealer floor have a sticker stating that they've been "equipped" with the Semiconductor Shortage Package. This is the strangest case of marketing lingo we've seen in a while. The word "package" is widely used for optional extras packaged together in the automotive industry.

For example, when you order an Audi RS7, you can pay an additional $2,700. In return, Audi will equip said RS7 with 22-inch gloss anthracite black wheels, high-gloss black finishes for the mirror housings, badges, grille, window surrounds, and front and rear bumper inserts. The Semiconductor Shortage Package does exactly the opposite. It removes a few features from the car, but it subtracts $1,350 from the price.

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Some manufacturers are removing features that likely won't impact sales. Chevrolet removed rear park assist from the Corvette, which isn't the end of the world. You don't buy a 'Vette because it's easy to park. Ford chose to remove the factory-fitted navigation system from the Bronco, which is also not a big deal. It still has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and both systems offer better third-party navigation apps.

Audi is removing essential features, however. The Semiconductor Shortage Package removes adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, active lane assist, side and rear cross-traffic assist, and Audi Phone Box. The latter is a wireless charging and connection feature for the infotainment system.

None of these features are easy to retrofit, so if you buy an Audi with this particular package, you'll lose out on these features for as long as you own the car.

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