Together with its Chinese joint-venture partner FAW, Audi opened a new assembly hall today at the existing plant premises of FAW-VW in Changchun. The long-wheelbase Audi A4 and the Audi Q5 will be produced in this hall, which spans some 82,000 square meters (883,000 square feet). The capital expenditure amounts to around 100 million euros.
“This substantial increase in our production capacities will fuel our continued growth and boost China’s position as a strategically important market,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.
He added that the company aims to sell 200,000 premium cars annually in China by 2015. “The expansion of our production capacities is a key mile marker along the route to this destination,” emphasizes Mr. Stadler.
Mr. An Tiecheng, President of FAW-VW, adds:
“Changchun was China’s very first production site for premium vehicles. Today’s opening of this assembly hall paves the way for further innovation and sets a new standard in China's automotive industry."
The assembly hall was constructed in nine months and, following the pre-production phase, will begin series production just 14 months after the original construction work started. Virtual planning made it possible to design and simulate everything in advance – from the building’s design to materials-handling technology and plant equipment.
The new assembly hall thus satisfies the requirements of Audi’s globally standardized production system. This means that all logistics processes are integrated within assembly procedures; components are prepared as needed adjacent to the production line before entering the workflow. Cutting-edge techniques also play pivotal roles. The so-called marriage is just one example: a vehicle body and a chassis are joined and bolted by automated means.
In addition to the reliable and quality-optimized manufacturing processes, Frank Dreves, Member of the Board of Management for Production at AUDI AG, is especially fond of the workstations’ design.
“Ergonomics also played a central role during the planning phase of the new assembly hall in Changchun. Height-adjustable materials-handling technology, for example, enables every one of our employees to maintain an optimal stance for working efficiently. That, in turn, ensures the excellence of our products,” underscores Mr. Dreves.
By opening this new assembly hall, Audi is continuing the success story it began 21 years ago in China. The brand is now market leader in the local premium segment; Audi sold 119,598 vehicles last year in China (including Hong Kong). From January through August 2009, 93,610 customers in China purchased a new Audi – which equates to year-on-year growth of 17.4 percent.
In addition to increasing production capacities, Audi will expand its exclusive network of dealerships and service facilities in China to include more than 200 locations by 2015. China currently has 139 Audi dealerships and 14 Audi terminals in a total of 95 cities.