Audi AG christens a new E100 million ($146 million), 883,000-sq.-ft. (82,000 sq.-m) assembly plant in Changchun, China, that will build long-wheelbase A4 sedans and Q5 cross/utility vehicles.
Construction of the plant, part of the- Automotive Co. Ltd. complex, was completed in nine months. It currently is in the preproduction phase, but series production is expected to begin early next year, just 14 months after the start of construction.
The added production capacity will allow the auto maker to boost sales in China to 200,000 units annually by 2015, Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler says. Last year, Audi sold 119,598 vehicles in the market, and deliveries this year through August total 93,610, up 17.4% from like-2008.
In addition to adding production capability, Audi plans to expand its dealer network to more than 2000 exclusive locations by 2015. Currently, there are 139 Audi dealers and 14 Audi terminals in 95 Chinese cities.
Audi says it used virtual design tools to shorten the development time and construction of the plant, which utilizes the auto maker’s standardized production system.