DETROIT — Audi of America confirmed Monday that it will change the name of its Audi 5000 model as part of a program to increase sales after a massive recall forced by widespread reports of runaway acceleration problems.
The change is an attempt to breathe life back into the German-made $23,000 car and boost slow sales of other Audi models. U.S. sales of Audis last year slipped 19% from the year before.
Beginning with the 1988-model year, Audi will use the European designation for the 5000, calling it the Audi 100 and 200, depending on the model, company spokesman Fred Zosel said.
Zosel said also that the smaller Audi 4000, to be introduced as an all-new model next year, will be renamed the Audi 80, as it is known overseas.
In January, Audi recalled about 250,000 of the 1978-86 5000 models with automatic transmissions to install an automatic shift device that prevents the drive gears from being engaged unless the brake pedal is applied.