NECKARSULM -- Audi sales and marketing chief Peter Schwarzenbauer has taken personal charge of the German premium brand's goal of becoming the leading brand worldwide in customer satisfaction.
Schwarzenbauer, who was head of Porsche in the U.S. for five years, would like to anchor the American service mentality throughout Audi's global sales and repair network.
Audi is obsessed with the issue of quality when it builds cars, he said. "Now we need a similar obsession with the idea of service, meaning customer satisfaction."
Since his picture adorns the editorial in the Audi customer magazine, many people send their letters directly to Schwarzenbauer and he reads them all.
He talks with Audi managers to clarify "what we could have done better."
New service contracts
In the spring of 2008, Audi dismissed all its service franchises, effective at the end of June 2010.
When new contracts go into effect in June 2010, Schwarzenbauer wants to establish a much improved service network.
"The expectations of our customers have clearly risen, so we also need higher standards in service," he said.
Dealers have to adapt to this level. "Whether a dealer is large or small, anyone not meeting this requirement does not fit in with our premium brand.
Audi has 11 global training centers for service staff, of which six are in Germany.
The carmaker has just opened a new center in Neckarsulm, where trainers are expected to take the knowledge they gain to about 100 Audi export markets.