Speech 20th jubilee of Audi Hungaria/ Start of Production Audi A3 Sedan
Representatives of the Hungarian Government,
Representatives of the Audi Supervisory Board,
Colleagues and Guests!
Welcome to the Audi site in Győr.
Welcome to our new car plant!
We have managed it! We have over two years of hard work behind us. Two years in which we have built an ultramodern car plant next to the world’s biggest engine factory. In total, we have invested more than 900 million euros in this expansion. As a result, this plant now covers the entire process chain – with its own press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly lines.
And to my colleagues, I would like to say: Now it’s up to you! Fill these freshly completed production halls with life! Build what people expect of us: the best premium automobiles.
On the 20th jubilee of Audi Hungaria, we are giving the starting signal here in the press shop today, for our first complete automobile production in Hungary. You can already see the Audi A3 Sedan on the stage in front of you. With this model, we are today placing a groundbreaking automobile into Hungarian hands. The sedan will be the first model to be built in Győr from the rolls of steel plate to the complete cars. I am delighted that you are spending this symbolic day with us. I am especially pleased that you too – Professor Piëch – together with your wife, are here today to celebrate with us. 20 years ago, you as the Group’s CEO co-approved the establishment of Audi Hungaria. You thus laid the foundations for the success of Audi in Hungary. And a cordial welcome also to you, Professor Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of our Volkswagen Group and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG. You have often visited Audi Hungaria in recent years and months and – I believe I may say so – returned home with some very good impressions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
20 years ago, Audi found its second home in Győr. As part of the realignment of our brand, we expanded our model range at that time. We wanted to grow – and every capacity expansion was a help. Because our main plant in Ingolstadt had reached its limits, we had to gradually relocate the engine production. We carefully examined where we would transfer it to. In fact, we reviewed 180 locations. We searched in the whole of Europe, until we finally found what we were looking for in Győr. This is where we found the ideal conditions. We founded our subsidiary Audi Hungaria, and as of February 18, 1993, we had our first engine production outside Germany. This resulted in a valuable competence center, which has been growing rapidly since then: in terms not only of capacity, but also of innovative strength. Today, Audi Hungaria produces nearly two million engines each year for the entire Volkswagen Group. In comparison: It was just a tenth of that number in 1994.
Not only the volume, but also the repertoire of our engine production has increased.
We started at that time with just one engine: the four-cylinder five-valve engine.
Meanwhile, we produce nearly the entire range of Audi engines in Győr: from the four-cylinder to the twelve-cylinder – gasoline and diesel. But that’s not all: Since 1998, we have also been assembling our Audi TT here for the world market. More than 33,000 times a year, our employees here attach the legendary four rings to a premium automobile. With the new Audi A3 Sedan, we will reach a total volume of more than 125,000 cars a year. Today, we are the second-largest company in Hungary and the world’s biggest engine producer. So you see: Audi Hungaria has achieved a respectable position in our industry. In the past twenty years, this site has developed into a strategic pillar of our Group’s entire family. That success is also yours as Chief Executive, Mr. Faustmann. And it is also the success of each of the 9,000 employees at this site. My wholehearted thanks go out to all of you!
Ladies and gentlemen,
At present, we at Audi are faced with a challenge similar to twenty years ago. You all know: We have ambitious plans, we have big targets and we want to grow globally. Therefore, we recently initiated the biggest internationalization surge in the history of our automobile production. We have a special focus on two regions:
The first one is North America. For two and a half years now, we have set one sales record after another there. We want to serve this strong demand even better in the future. The second one is Asia, with ongoing strong double-digit growth rates – above all China, where we are the leaders in the premium market also in the twenty-fifth year of our presence there. In the other BRIC countries as well, there is very high demand for premiumautomobiles. That’s why we will now adopt a broader positioning. We are expanding our worldwide production network to secure our strong competitive position on the world market. We are taking large steps to achieve this goal – here in Győr and at other locations around the world. Starting this year, we are using the Group’s available production capacities in Kaluga, Russia. Towards the end of the year, we will put our second Chinese plant into operation in Foshan in the south of the country. And just a few weeks ago, we laid the foundation stone in San José Chiapa in Mexico for our first plant on the North American continent.
The Audi A3 Sedan plays a crucial role for our growth path. We are entering the biggest market segment of compact sedans. We are producing for the world market, and at the same time, we are pushing forward with the development of our growth markets in China and North America. In this development, we are giving Audi Hungaria great responsibility. We are firmly convinced: This site is highly innovative and efficient, it is a driver of our growth. Of course, this requires strength and dedication. And due to the plant expansion, additional tasks have to be performed. That’s why we are expanding and creating new jobs. We are recruiting 2,100 new employees at Audi Hungaria. We are preparing many of them for their future tasks by way of the dual system of working and training. In the future, a total of 15,000 people will earn their living directly or indirectly from this plant. We are further stimulating local economic growth and will continue to be the biggest investor in Hungary. At this point, I would like to thank the Hungarian government, which has made an important contribution to this venture. This country received us with open arms twenty years ago. The people here have always believed in us and supported our plans. Thank you very much for your trust! Without you, Audi Hungaria would not have been possible.
Trust is the basis of a sustainable partnership: a partnership with Hungary which we will continue on the future. A few weeks ago, my Board of Management colleague Dr. Dreves and you – Prime Minister Orbán – signed a “strategic partnership agreement.”
In this way, we are sending out a strong signal. Together, we want to continue cooperating with facilities for education and training, and supporting the areas of research, development and innovation. Because only in this way can we fully utilize our potential. And only in this way can we develop the expertise, needed to be competitive in the long term. For us at Audi, our declared goal is to be the leading premium brand by 2020. We are keeping a close eye on this target, which is firmly anchored in our corporate strategy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our site Audi Hungaria will be a helping hand for us on this journey. Prime Minister Orbán, I would like to express my thanks to you once again for your support.
And may I now hand over to you.
Thank you! Nagyon köszönöm!