“Expansion of our production capacities in China and cooperation with FAW on a plug-in-hybrid project especially for the Chinese market are important milestones,” stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG on the occasion of the jubilee celebrations, adding that China is Audi’s most important single international market. Stadler: “With our involvement in China, we are strengthening our international competitive position and moving closer to our goal of selling more than two million automobiles per annum worldwide by the year 2020.“ With an annual capacity of 150,000 to 200,000 cars by the end of 2013, Foshan will make a significant contribution within the international Audi production network. In this way, the company is giving the Chinese premium market a further boost. “With the Audi Q3 and the Audi A3, we will be the first manufacturer to offer two locally produced model series in the growth segment of premium compact cars,” stated Dietmar Voggenreiter, Head of China Operations at AUDI AG.
Qin Huanming, Vice-President of the FAW Group, emphasized the strong foundations of the cooperation: “Audi and FAW have been cooperating closely for 25 years. With the new partnership for electric mobility, we are sending out a clear signal that we are also actively and jointly shaping the future of mobility.” Both companies are further extending their intensive cooperation in the fields of local automobile development, regional product tests and the qualification of parts from suppliers. As pioneers, the partners had already designed special long versions of the Audi A6 and Audi A4 for the Chinese market.
Early in 2013, AUDI AG opened a research and development center in Beijing and thus laid the foundations to boost innovation in Asia.
Audi is also setting new standards in China in terms of sustainability. The new factory in Foshan will be built and operated according to strict efficiency criteria. As the first producer in China, Audi will install its efficient start-stop technology and kinetic energy recuperation in all locally produced models. Since the start of the efficiency program with FAW-Volkswagen in 2011, Audi has reduced the average fuel consumption of its cars produced in China by approximately 20 percent. In the readers’ voting for “Best Cars 2013” in the Chinese issue of the German car magazine “auto motor und sport,” Audi was the winner of several categories including “Environmentally Friendly Cars,” “Product Reliability” and “Product Quality.” Audi received a total of ten awards, more than any other competitor. Audi is the first brand with lightweight components from local production. To promote the practical training of its future employees, Audi supports projects at vocational training colleges in Foshan und Changchun, establishing elements of the German dual training systems in China.
Audi celebrated the delivery of its one-millionth automobile in China in 2010. Within just three years, Audi has now reached the two-million mark. The brand with the four rings is the market leader in the local premium segment and delivered more than 400,000 cars to Chinese customers within one year for the first time in 2012. And in the first half of 2013, Audi for the first time passed the number of 200,000 unit sales by the middle of the year.
With the Audi A3 as Sedan and Sportback, Audi will already establish the fifth locally produced model series in China in 2014. At the Changchun plant, Audi already produces the Audi A6 L, the Audi A4 L, the Audi Q5 and the Audi Q3. Production capacities in China (Foshan and Changchun) can be flexibly adjusted to satisfy a market demand of up to 700,000 units per annum in the coming years. By 2020, Audi will expand its exclusive dealer and service network to more than 700 outlets. There are currently more than 300 Audi dealerships in over 130 cities in China. In the latest J.D. Power quality survey in 2013, Audi took first place for service quality and customer satisfaction in China.
The Audi success story in China started in 1988 with a license agreement between Audi and FAW. The two partners agreed on the assembly of the Audi 100 from parts kits at the FAW plant Changchun. In 1995, Audi’s assembly was integrated into the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture, of which Audi then became a shareholder.