Audi, Volkswagen AG’s luxury-car unit, will increase capacity in China to as many as 700,000 vehicles a year, backed by a second assembly plant.
A new factory in Foshan, in the southern province of Guangdong, will have a capacity to build about 150,000 to 200,000 cars from 2013, adding to output of a plant in Changchun which will be raised to as many as 550,000 cars, Audi said today in a statement. The Foshan plant is being built by VW and its Chinese partner FAW Volkswagen Automotive Co.
“We want to clearly expand our presence in China and further strengthen our strategic partnership” with FAW, Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler said. “The new factory is a milestone in our long-term growth strategy in China.”
China has surpassed Germany as Audi’s biggest market this year though the Ingolstadt, Germany-based carmaker’s share of Chinese luxury-auto sales shrank in the first six months while German rivals Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Daimler AG’s Mercdes-Benz boosted their portions, according to industry researcher J.D. Power & Associates.
Audi said the factory in Foshan will employ about 4,000 workers and produce a “new member” of the A3 compact line, the carmaker’s third-best selling model. The VW unit currently makes extended versions of the A4 and A6, its two best-selling vehicles, and the Q5 sport-utility vehicle in Changchun.
Audi, the luxury-market leader in China, increased sales of cars and SUVs in the world’s biggest auto market by 32 percent between January and October to 253,739 units. The carmaker aims for record sales of more than 300,000 in the Asian country this year.