Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has revealed the German car manufacturer is aiming to sell another 1 million cars in China in the next 3 three years and may build a new plant in the country which is set to replace Germany as its biggest market in 2011.
Global luxury car makers, from BMW to Mercedes, have racked up astronomical sales in China, thanks to a growing army of super-rich who are fuelling demand for luxury items, from Gucci handbags to Rolls-Royces.
Audi has now sold 1 million cars in China since it began selling the first locally made model, an Audi 100, which rolled off the production line at VW’s and FAW’s joint venture plant in the north eastern city of Changchun in 1989.
Audi’s annual sales in mainland China and Hong Kong could exceed 200,000 units in 2010, approaching its current capacity.
When asked whether Audi would add a new plant in China, Rupert Stadler said: “Maybe for the future. Yes.”
He added: “First of all, we are able to do that within the existing capacities, to ramp with the paint shops and with assembly lines. But in the long run we will need additional capacity, maybe also outside Changchun.”
Currently, the Audi A6, A4 and Q5 are made at the Changchun plant and Stadler revealed he wants to bring the “full family” of Audi models to China step by step, with the local production of its new generation of A6 to start in 2012.
By 2015, FAW-Volkswagen plans to more than double the number of its Audi dealers in China to 500, covering over 200 cities, up from 96 cities currently, company executives said.
From January to September, Audi sales in mainland China and Hong Kong rose 60.7 percent to 174,900 vehicles, company data showed.
Source: Automotive News