Have lemons, make lemonade, right? Only if you have a lot of sugar. Seeing that our current lemon-heavy world situation is lacking the necessary amounts of sweetener to make a tasty beverage, Audi has done the next best thing and made lemon flavored water, rebranding it a “Semiconductor Shortage Package.” The Drive picked up on forum posts in places like Audi World and Reddit about this strange item on some Monroneys at Audi dealerships. Someone at Audi got the idea that instead of simply including a line of text about certain features being unavailable on certain vehicles because of chip constraints, the luxury automaker should bundle the missing features into the aforementioned package and then subtract the cost from the MSRP.
Example deductions are $350 off the price of a Q5 for lacking Audi side assist and rear traffic warning, $1,200 off MSRP off another Q5 for missing that previous feature as well as adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, Audi active lane assist, and Audi phone box, and $1,350 off an Audi A4 Allroad for the same four omissions.
Look, it’s a novel approach, and we get it. It saves everyone the time and hassle of trying to figure out which vehicle will be missing which options; some other automakers have made that difficult to figure out. Furthermore, no one needs to buy an Audi with the Semiconductor Shortage Package — these are part of dealer inventory sitting on showroom floors. In the Allroad example, for instance, the poster ordered an Allroad in January and was told it could take six months for delivery because of the lack of chips. The buyer saw a similar Allroad to the we they ordered on a dealer web site, and was asking anyone if those features could be added later. So Audi isn’t conning anyone into these cars, the company is trying to keep cars flowing to dealers and perhaps trying to keep the messaging of any shortcomings on-brand. It’s the kind of looking-glass howler we’ve seen before in plenty of other ways, and in times of plenty. As a Reddit poster commented, “Oh god, the idea of calling the absence of a feature a ‘package’ is hilarious. I can’t believe Porsche wasn’t already doing that.”
As for retroactive installation, the answer to that is nein. The vehicle built without these features lives its life without these features. Happy shopping.