Around Town

Around Town: Audi heads to Lafayette

by Leslie Turk

The Bohn family, which owns New Orleans Audi in Metairie, is bringing the luxury German brand to Johnston Street.

By April work should be well under way on a new Audi dealership at 6160 Johnston St., adding within a year to the extensive automotive row that will place it next to Southwest Volkswagen and directly across the street from Hampton Mitsubishi.

A majority-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen (along with Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and overseas-brands SEAT and Skoda, according to Consumer Reports), the German automaker rivals the likes of luxury manufacturers Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. Those three brands, in that order, are Audi‘s chief competitors, according to Audi‘s corporate communications manager, Brad Stertz.

Photo by Kari Walker

In April 2015 Audi will begin construction on a Lafayette dealership at 6160 Johnston St. The new location should open a year later.

The Bohn family - which operates New Orleans Audi and Hyundai, both of Metairie, and Toyota of Slidell, as well as a franchise in Dallas, according to its website - was awarded the Audi franchise for Lafayette in April of this year, Stertz tells ABiz. "We have 280 dealerships nationwide. We‘re not opening tons of new [locations], but we are looking at markets that are growing."

Audi has been closely tracking sales and service of its cars in the area and determined that growth in the Baton Rouge market, the closest Audi dealership to Lafayette, is strong enough that a location 60 miles west would not adversely affect business there. Audi was attracted to household growth numbers in the Lafayette area and also has been impressed by expansion within both the medical community and UL Lafayette, he says.

The new Lafayette Audi dealership will have a nine-car showroom and 15 air-conditioned service stalls, Stertz says.

A message left for Bohn family members in New Orleans seeking additional information on the dealership was not immediately returned.