Audi Australia Pty. Ltd. plans to build an A$50 million ($44 million) headquarters facility in Sydney as part of a total investment of more than A$140 million ($123 million) over the next few years.

The auto maker says the facility is due to open in early 2009 and represents one of the most significant overseas investments made to date by parent Audi AG.

The 8-story, 129,170-sq.-ft. (12,000-sq.-m) building will incorporate a flagship retail showroom and aftersales service center. It also will serve as a showcase for new product launches.

Audi Australia Managing Director Joerg Hofmann says the facility’s establishment is a direct result of the brand’s strong domestic growth in the past three years, including a sales increase of 30% in 2005 and 20% last year.

Audi Australia’s sales through October were up 36.2% to 6,295 units compared with prior-year.

“This flagship facility is representative of the brand’s outstanding achievements,” Hoffman says. “It is a clear message of support from our headquarters for our year-on-year record growth and will raise awareness of the Audi brand to a completely new level.

“Significantly, it also demonstrates Audi AG’s long-term commitment to Australia, which has been identified as a key strategic growth market.”

Hofmann says a key part of Audi’s growth strategy in the medium-term requires investment by its dealer body in facility upgrades, with the goal of the brand reaching sales of 15,000 units annually in 2015.

The showroom and aftersales facility will be known as Audi Center Sydney and operated by a newly established separate business entity owned by Audi Australia.

The building will include space for more than 25 new cars, 70 pre-owned vehicles and 20 service bays. Sales volume is expected to reach 1,000 units annually by 2015.