Audi seeks social media buzz with e-tron Geneva tour

Audi showed an e-tron prototype at its Geneva auto show press conference.

Photo credit: Reuters
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Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
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Audi is seeking to cause a stir by driving 250 of its camouflaged e-tron full-electric SUVs through Geneva while the city hosts the annual auto show here.

Audi is asking residents to take snapshots of the pre-production car and post them on social media to generate some buzz ahead of the car's launch later this year.

The move is unconventional because companies normally try to hide their new models from curious pedestrians and photographers before the car's official unveiling.

Audi said the e-tron prototypes do not carry the usual camouflage, but rather visualize electrification with a design foil specially developed for it. The most spectacular pictures posted under the hashtag "#etron" will be published then on the automaker's website.

The city tour takes the e-trons through notable tourist sites, such as the pedestrian zone around Place du Molard, the Cornavin train station, Ile Rousseau or the Jet d'eau fountain in Lake Geneva.

The e-tron SUV is Audi's first purpose-built electric vehicle and is expected to celebrate its debut at the Audi Summit in Brussels on August 13. It will compete with models such as the Tesla Model X and the new Jaguar I-Pace.

Audi is already taking deposits from potential customers for the e-tron in Norway, Europe's largest EV market, as well as in Switzerland and Austria, and in Belgium, where the e-tron will be built.

Audi showed an e-tron prototype at its Geneva auto show press conference. The production car will be unveiled in Brussels.

You can reach Christiaan Hetzner at

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