Audi goes the extra mile for loyal customer

Today we found an interesting post on in the RS5 General Q&A forum. A user Joshua Smith aka audi_s5 a potential RS 5 owner. Wrote a letter to President of Audi of America Johan de Nysschen about his recent experience at the Chicago Auto Show. We know the stress of Auto Shows and know first hand they aren’t the greatest place to check out the newest models privately. As we found out from the exchange that there is currently only one RS 5 allotted to AOA for Auto Show display. Due to the way people tend to poke and prod at the cars they always end up with broken interior bits and pieces missing completely. So we can understand their reluctance to allow crowds of people to sit in the car and poke around. Audi of America did the next best thing and brought the show to Joshua. 

Here’s the letter that started the exchange:

Mr. Johan de Nysschen,

I am the proud owner of an Audi S5, A6, and A3 and recently drove to the Chicago Auto Show to see the unveiling of the Audi RS5 to North America. 

I am writing this short email to make you aware of my experience at the auto show. I asked an Audi representative if he could open up the RS5 as I was interested in ordering a 2013 model this summer. He refused to open the car or even allow me to get a closer look at the features of the car. I expect this does not meet your expectations. 

In the BMW booth at the show I spent over 30 minutes with a BMW representative who showed me the M3 and the all new M5, which was also closed to the majority of the public. 

The main reason for my drive to Chicago from Neenah WI (3 hour drive) was to see and discuss the possibility of ordering the RS5. I am an active member and participant of the Chicago Audi Club in Illinois and Badger Audi Club in Wisconsin. 

I am not sure based on my experience if I am going to place an order. How can I expect to spend 90k without the ability to sit in the seat, or open the hood? (The car in the show featured carbon ceramic brakes. If this is an available option in the US, thank you!) A sincere thanks for all you do from a true Audi enthusiast. 


Joshua Smith

Soon after Joshua received a reply that I’m sure that he couldn’t of imagined. It comes as no surprise to us as Johan is one of the most approachable leaders I’ve ever had the chance to meet and it really shows in his response:

Dear Mr Smith,

I regret to learn of your unfavorable experience at the Audi Stand during the Chicago Auto Show.

I can understand your disappointment. Not to offer excuses but to shed some light on the matter, I would like to offer some additional background explanation. 

The RS 5 on our exhibit is a pre-production car. The number of RS 5 units currently available worldwide is very limited and thus for the US we only have one car available for the entire Auto Show season. The same car is therefore displayed at about 10 Auto Shows across the US. Since it is a pre-production prototype it is difficult to obtain replacement parts in the event that something is damaged. You will be astonished at what people do to cars at these shows. 

From experience we know that when left open a car is not presentable anymore after 2-3 Auto shows. Therefore our Auto show staff are instructed to exercise great caution with these specific cars.

Nevertheless, the cars are to be experienced and thus our staff are also instructed to offer interested attendees to return to the stand at a less crowded time to receive a full walk-around of the car. ( You can imagine that once a highlight car is opened on a crowded floor, it becomes impossible to control access thereafter). 

I apologize that this clearly was not offered to you when you were at the stand.

One of my team members will contact you shortly to arrange a private viewing of the RS5 for you. We will be pleased to truck the car to your home so that you can take a close look at this stunning driving machine. The car will be in Chicago until March 9th when it will be moved to the next Auto Show.

I hope this will meet with your acceptance. 

Best Regards

Johan de Nysschen 
Audi of America, Inc

Not only did Audi drop off the RS 5 for Mr. Smith to check out for the day. But the entire Auto Show display arrived with the Audi RS5, S6, S7, S8 and A8 3.0T. Audi truly went above and beyond to not only help a loyal customer but to show that they care about all of their customers. 


21 Responses to “Audi goes the extra mile for loyal customer”

  1. 1 TJ Ferreira

    Geluk Johan, dit is die de Nysshen wie ons gelukkig was om in Suid Afrika te kon he. Ek as n oud Audi Wes Rand klient het net begin bekommerd raak oor die houding van handelaars in Amerika en het nog altyd geglo dat u Audi VSA sal regruk.

    I apologize for the piece in Afrikaans, both Mr de Nysschen and my monther tongue’s, but this comes as no surprise to me as I was fortunate enough to have been a fortunate Audi owner, caretaker in that country and was originally very disappointed in the level of customer service provided by our Houston dealeships, so much so, that I after 42 years of Audi, since my first Super 90 planned on changing allegiance and move on.

    I have been pleasantly surprised over the past 4 years though and have seen a marked improvement and kind support from our local dealers.

    Audi always.

    TJ Ferreira
    The Woodlands

  2. 2 Chad

    Dang! That’s incredible!

  3. 3 DJ

    Thumbs up!

  4. 4 sid

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! I couldn’t sit it in the car!!!!!

  5. 5 lol@sid

    Here’s a thought. Take your 90k and buy a nicer house. kudos to Audi for their customer service. But you do sound a little entitled. “How can you expect me to drop 90k on a car I can’t get a close look at”? Well buddy, that decision is yours, but believe me, there are no shortage of people who will.

  6. 6 No Thanks

    @ LOLSID

    Why would you make such a comment about his house? So he lives in a pretty modest new-build style community? What’s a nicer house get him that he really needs? Are YOU the one best to make that judgement or perhaps is it his and his family’s choice?

    In terms of the second comment, I agree with him about not being allowed to sit in a car. It’s not a sense of entitlement, it’s common sense IMO. It’s just a car man, why the marketing folks treat it like it’s a keep-sake is beyond me. The cost of doing a simple clean up and replacing a couple bits here and there that may get snapped is nothing.

    To those that buy it without ever setting foot in it, you see it as there’s no shortage and perhaps not. However, the world is filled with people who make less than informed decisions. Many are the same folks house rich and cash poor too just like you suggest he be. I give the subject of the story credit for not being either.

  7. 7 Mike

    I’ve purchased my last 2 Audis without even a test drive. I knew they would be so amazing that I didn’t even have to question it.

  8. 8 Terry Laubscher

    I had a slight glitch with a European delivery. Audi went out of their way to ensure that I was a happy customer and put things right within days.
    I am very happy to have a fellow South African at the helm.
    I sympathise with T J Ferreira and his Houston Audi experience. I wish they would create a dealership in League City, there are too many BMW and Mercs around. We have been with Audi since 2001 and I now drive an A5 which I enjoy immensely. We buy all our Audi’s from Jim Ellis in Atlanta Marietta.
    We found Kevin Fenner now the Manager of the branch one of the most reliable and “user” friendly Audi professionals ever. He will ship your Audi to Alaska if so required.

  9. 9 lol@sid

    @ No Thanks. No one is ragging on his home. It was more tongue in cheek. Why invest in a 90k car thats sure to depreciate, when the $$ could be best used or invested elsewhere. Especially as it relates to someone who seems to live in a modest middle class neighborhood. Different strokes for different folks. Entitlement??? “I’m own 3 Audis.” “I’m a member of Blah blah Blah Audi clubs.” “I bang all my prostitutes in Audis” etc… Oh shit. I think you dropped something. Oh, don’t worry it was just a name. The typical crap you always here from people who somehow feel slighted. like the guy who says “I’m a Hilton Honors member and have been staying in your hotels for 3 decades, and can’t believe I didn’t get a complimentary NYT’s.” Even though the guy is staying in Yuma, AZ. They have one friggin car. 1. For everyone in the nation with $5 to attend an auto show, to gawk at. 99.9% of whom will never even consider actually buying it. It’s just a car man. as you say. Yet anyone with a brain would know there’s a hundred and one douches that will try and steal ashtrays, gas caps and radio knobs to try and transplant the in their 4000s’. Thus demeaning the experience for the next guy. And house rich and cash poor has nothing to do with it. It’s supply and demand brother. Or did they not teach economics at the online community college you attended? In the 90s’ Ford explorers were being bought sight unseen. In the early 2000’s it was the Prius. I’d like to tell you to find some common sense sir. But when you end sentences with phrases like “like he be” I know it’s a lost cause. Maybe if you go back to school and get your GPA up, you might one day get accepted to the University of Phoenix. Until then, like I said. Kudos to Audi for their customer service.

  10. 10 nsimps

    I think the gist of this story is that Audi is awesome and they care about those who own and also those who wish they owned! After following the #WantAnR8 twitter campaign it’s no surprise to me that they went ahead and did this. And yes @Audi, I still #WantAnR8 :)

  11. 11 Audi_s5 - J Smith

    If you only knew this isn’t my only home. I own an additonal home in Appleton, WI with almost double the sq ft that I rent. I am a wealth manager by trade and think I know more about finances and depreciation than most since I hold CFP and CTFA designations in addition to my finance degree. In the current housing market, a car (specifically RS5)seems to be a better investment.

    Bottom line is Audi provides world class customer service.

  12. 12 lol@sid

    Way to go J Smith. I am sure you are all the envy at the lake during the summer. However, all you achieved in your diatribe was to qualify my earlier statements. It is now crystal clear, you most certainly have a complex. You may know more about finances and depreciation than most. You may in fact hold a CFP as well as a CTFA. But one thing is certain. One doesn’t have to hold a F$&%ing PHD to understand you are quite the crybaby and possess a huge sense of entitlement. None the less, at least we agree on one thing. The level of customer service Audi provides. The only difference being, I don’t expect a reach around from my sales rep. So unless there are any more accomplishments you wish to brag about. Or any other assets you would like to disclose (in addition to your 2 homes and 3 Audis) I’ll just leave it at that.

  13. 13 SiafaAlvin

    “In the current housing market, a car (specifically RS5)seems to be a better investment.” …what? Short of living in Detroit, an RS5 is not a better financial investment compared to a home.

    Don’t get me wrong – the RS5 makes me tingle *down there*, but it’s still a volume sports car. This isn’t, say, an Aston One-77; there will be thousands of RS5s produced, and they will all become money sinks for anyone who owns one past 3-4 years.

  14. 14 Devil_Inside

    Wow, I am surprized to see some of these comments on this website. I thought we have a more mature and educated crowd here, but I guess I was wrong…

    Anyway, did Audi go overboard by trucking its entire flee to a pontential customer just because he complained? Sure. But guess what, they probably got a customer for life now. Not to mention all the free publicity they are getting out of this whole thing.

  15. 15 Mr. Sacrosanct

    @lol: A reach around from a sales rep is actually quite enjoyable. You should try it some time. I consider it standard operating procedure. :)

    Et Al:
    I would also plunk $90k on something with more utility than a house and agree with the financial planner’s assessments. A home is the worst place to “invest,” unless you’re actually looking for a tax loss/write-off.

    I’d “park” my money in a plane or high-end car. At least I’ll be able to move that asset across the country, liquidate in a hurry (no short-sale b.s. or foreclosure mania involved).

    Investing in something menial, like a VW tdi, is a wiser choice than most anything these days.

    I applaud Audi for going above and beyond. It’s just a shame that the photos and lack of participation and excitement don’t do their actions much justice. If all the Audi Club fanboys were there, that would have been cool.

    Speaking of which; HEY, AUDI! I’m dying here. Bring the A6 TDI to the US.

  16. 16 Janos C

    Good for you J Smith! I have been a loyal Audi owner for the past 12 years. My first new car was a 200 A6 2.7T and now own an A4 and hoping to get into a couple of newer models soon… maybe Q5 and A6.

    Audi service has always been good to me, but most notably in recent years they have upped their game.

    Audi cost of ownership was recently ranked #1 for luxury brands, given its great resale value and low cost of maintenance, so I do not buy the arguments posted here referring to a sports car being an “investment”. If you can afford it, you are free to buy anything you like, the more, the merrier for you, go for it. If you treat the purchase of a car like an investment, then you must not be a car enthusiast and/or you have no concept of economics. If you want a transport tool rather than an experience, go buy a Toyota or a Lexus.

    Good luck with your new car!

  17. 17 Audi_s5 - J Smith
  18. 18 sid

    @17 Audi_s5 – J Smith
    You are smoking crack asking 59K. You may want to consider parting it out and putting the car back to stock. How could you possibly do better than Audi engineers?

  19. 19 sid

    …. and why the heck would you put 7K brakes on an S5???

  1. 1 Bravo Audi of America!
  2. 2 Audi “Goes The Extra Mile” To Help A Man With Low Self-Esteem Win The Internet | Autonomous Vehicles
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