Audi will soon join parent brand Volkswagen in building cars, engines, and transmissions within the U.S. A new report from Automotive News suggests Audi executives want to open a vehicle assembly plant within the next three years, possibly followed by a factory dedicated to building engines and transmissions.
According to AN, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler believes it is “totally clear” that Audi needs more production capacity within North America. The location, capacity, and vehicles to be built at the future plant have yet to be determined. Stadler reportedly wants Audi to increase its U.S. sales by 10 to 20 percent this year, and for Audi sales to hit 150,000 cars here by 2015. It’s unclear when exactly the American plant might open.
In addition, Audi may consider building an engine and transmission plant in the U.S., which would increase the amount of domestic content in Audi vehicles. The facility could be shared with Volkswagen, which recently established a new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Tennessee plant currently builds the American-market Volkswagen Passat.
Stadler told AN that building cars in the U.S. would help Audi improve its inventory situation; low vehicle inventories mean customers can wait a long time to receive cars they order. The move is a surprise, given that in June 2010 Audi officials claimed they couldn’t build cars in the U.S. due to low production volumes and the fluctuating Euro-dollar exchange rate.
Source: Automotive News