Audi is by far the most successful premium automaker on the Chinese market. In 2014, Audi set a new record, and for the first time it delivered over half-a-million cars in China and Hong Kong (578,932) – this represents a 17.7% increase over the prior year. Audi once again set records in the first months of 2015. China is the largest Audi sales market – with a significant lead over Germany. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, calls China the “second homeland” of Audi.
The sustained success is based on a clear strategy with which Audi also wants to lead in China well into the future. It envisions new models, new technologies, excellent quality, high investments in the brand and sales as well as exceptional customer service. For Audi, the world’s largest automotive market is a key component of its global growth strategy and an engine of innovation.
AUDI AG is represented in China by a joint venture and a 100%-owned subsidiary. Together with its joint venture partners Volkswagen and the Chinese company First Automotive Works (FAW), Audi builds the Audi A4 L, Audi A6 L, Audi Q3 and Audi Q5 models in Changchun. The company developed the Audi A6 L and Audi A4 L with an extended wheelbase made especially for China. In Foshan, in southern China, the Audi A3 Sportback and Audi A3 Sedan have been coming off the assembly line since 2014. In 2009, AUDI AG founded Audi China, a fully owned subsidiary in Beijing. It has around 600 employees and coordinates business relations between AUDI AG, the FAW Group and the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture. The president of Audi China is Dr. Dietmar Voggenreiter. Business divisions of Audi China include Audi R&D Beijing, Audi China Sourcing and Quality Assurance and Technical Services.
In 2014, there were 495,900 deliveries of cars from the model series produced in Changchun and Foshan. This is a new record and represents a 21.6 percent gain over the prior year. Audi is the first manufacturer to offer three locally produced models in the strongly growing segment of premium compacts in China.
The A3 Sportback and A3 Sedan from Foshan launched successfully in 2014. In 2014, the company doubled its sales of Q3 vehicles (+103%) over the prior year. Sales figures are increasing for all SUV models by Audi. The locally produced Audi Q5 achieved five percent growth with 109,751 deliveries (including Hong Kong). Sales in the premium class also showed continued growth. The Audi A6 L set a new record: 162,538 customers (+6.1%) chose China’s best-selling business sedan. The total sales volume of imported Audi automobiles, including Hong Kong, was 79,177, which is approximately the same as in the prior year. Over one-third of Audi vehicles sold in China today are SUVs, coupes or sports cars. Sales to private customers now account for over 80 percent of total Audi sales in the People’s Republic. China is the world’s largest single market for the A6 Sedan, Audi A8, Audi Q5, Audi Q7 and Audi TT.
Premium sales network
To tap into new regions and assure its planned growth, Audi is further extending its dealership network in China from over 400 dealerships now to 500 by the end of 2017. The top priority here is high-quality service. This can only be achieved by focusing on the training and continuing education of employees. The effectiveness of this strategy was validated by a first place for Audi in the J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI).
Brand marketing includes Audi City Beijing. It is the first digital Audi showroom in Asia, which opened in January 2013 at the center of the northern Chinese metropolis. Here, visitors get a virtual experience of the model line-up available in China – including colors and optional features. Thanks to modern media technology, they can customize a car digitally from several million possible configurations and experience the full size, 1:1 scale car on screens that nearly fill the room. Over its 2,100 square meters (22,604.2 sq ft) of floor space, the two-story cyberstore also has enough space for 14 cars as well as areas for cultural events and exhibitions.
Audi Sport customer racing Asia supports the Audi customer racing program in Asia, and the Audi R8 LMS Cup is the world’s first brand cup by AUDI AG. In 2015, the Asia-wide GT3 racing series enters its fourth season with series races in China, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. A total of six race weekends are scheduled, each with two sprint races, including the debut of the brand cup race in Taiwan.
Production at FAW-Volkswagen
Automobile production at the joint venture in Changchun includes the four primary areas of automobile manufacturing: press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly. Annual Audi production capacity at FAW-Volkswagen in Changchun is around 450,000 automobiles. The plant currently produces the Audi A4 L, Audi A6 L, Audi Q3 and Audi Q5 models. The flexible plant structure means that capacity can gradually be increased as necessary.
Production operations at the joint venture fulfill the same AUDI AG standards as the rest of the company’s plants worldwide. Audi brought state-of-the-art automotive and manufacturing technologies such as laser welding and wax flooding to China back in the late 1990s. In 2012, the brand with the four rings launched the Audi A6 L, making Audi the first automaker to incorporate lightweight components into its local manufacturing in China.
The FAW-Volkswagen plant in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, which was completed in late 2013, also has full production capabilities. The Audi A3 Sportback and Audi A3 Sedan have been built there since 2014. Audi production in Foshan can be ramped up to an annual capacity of 150,000 to 200,000 cars. Adapting to demand, Audi is planning to expand its total annual production capacity in China (Changchun and Foshan) from 500,000 units (2014) to 700,000 cars by 2017.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.