Author Archives: Ted Shaffer

Introducing Audi Modern Retail

A new way of doing business.  Modern Retail seeks to make Audi customer-centric by giving customers what they need, when and how they need it. Our core values are clear; we must provide personal and positive customer experiences that build trust, save time, and generate incremental profit for our dealers.

This new method mirrors the changing retail landscape by providing Audi dealers with a set of strategies and process to increase dealer profitability and customer satisfaction.  Our Audi Omni-Channel Modern Retail experience meets customers’ expectations for a digitally-enabled seamless retail experience.  We equip our dealers with the right processes and digital tools, along with curated, flexible, scalable solutions to empower Audi Brand Specialists.

To learn more about how Modern Retail can help your dealership, click here.

Lightning in a Bottle

SAN FRANCISCO — Energy was high at Audi’s introduction of a “new era of electric” at the launch party for its first all-electric vehicle, the Audi e-tron. “We have harnessed the collective power of Audi…the collective power of our designers, our engineers, our dealers and our customers and have created something truly special,” said Bram Schot, temporary CEO of Audi AG.



The presentation kicked off with a spectacular light show across the San Francisco night sky, followed soon after by the arrival of the evening’s “guest of honor”: the e-tron, a battery-powered crossover, with availability starting in second quarter 2019.


Featuring a perfect harmony of aesthetics and design, Audi e-tron can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds. The car features a low center of gravity and nearly instantaneous torque output from two electric motors positioned on each axle to distribute power efficiently. Its battery has been carefully engineered to account for the heat generated from fast increases in speed and repeated use to ensure excellent driving capability and consistent performance.




Electric Unleashed


“[The e-tron] marks the beginning of a new era for us all at Audi…a new era in electric mobility,” Schot said. “The e-tron is the first of many to come.”


By 2025, Audi plans to offer more than 20 new electric car models, half of which will be fully electric. Others will include plug-in hybrids. And, over the next decade, Audi predicts that 30 percent of its sold cards will be electrified.


“Worldwide, tonight is a celebration of our first electric vehicle,” said Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America. “[Tonight] is about setting the standard for premium electrification. And with the e-tron, Audi has unquestionably accepted that powerful challenge.”



To learn more about Audi e-tron, visit

To view the full Audi e-tron world premiere video, visit

Soaking Up Savings With Solar

Butler Auto Group co-presidents Morris and Marsh Butler began their foray into solar energy about three years ago, after observing the large solar farms in central Georgia. They since have installed solar panels on three dealerships — most recently at Audi South Atlanta, a Terminal with an eight-car showroom and two-car delivery bay that opened this spring — and are beginning to start their fourth installation.


“It really has been a win for us,” says Morris Butler. “We’re considering adding solar to older facilities as well.”


The Butlers have worked closely with the state of Georgia and Renewvia Energy Corporation, a leading solar development company with headquarters in Atlanta, to analyze their monthly power usage and to design systems appropriate for their needs. On a 100-kilowatt system, the Butlers have been able to cut their monthly power usage by 40 percent. Combined with state tax credits and bonus depreciation, the solar installations pay for themselves in 4.5 years. (As tax credits vary by state, the Butler’s are achieving payback in less than 4 years at a dealership in South Carolina.)


For Morris Butler, the energy savings have become an exciting passion. “I literally get an email every day showing me how much energy we saved,” he says. “It’s interesting to see the difference between winter and summer.”


He also is thrilled to share knowledge of their success. The Butlers currently are installing flat-screen TVs in the Audi South Atlanta customer area to display solar savings on a daily basis. Graphics also depict how many trees they are saving by reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, the design of the facility itself makes great use of natural daylight, and the view from the rear parking deck incorporates a grove of beautiful trees.


“It means something to folks who are environmentally conscious,” Morris says. “But it’s not like driving past the solar fields; they can’t see the solar panels on the roof. So, we have to get the message out another way. It will be a ‘wow’ factor for us.”



And, with Audi’s upcoming introduction of battery electric vehicles, the Butlers find themselves ready for the new products. “Many consumers who are interested in electric vehicles also have a passion for renewable energy and green initiatives,” says Cody Thacker, director for Audi ONE. “The solar installation at Audi South Atlanta provides tangible evidence to these consumers and the general public that Audi is focused on all aspects of an electric future and that the Audi e-tron will be a part of a much larger ecosystem benefitting both the environment and the bottom line.”


If you are a dealer considering employing solar technologies, then please reach out to your Audi Region Network Development Manager.