Audi in China

Admit it.

Admit it. When you think “Audi,” you probably think “Germany” in general and possibly “Ingolstadt” if you’re really keen on the brand.

If you’re in the first category—and possibly the second—you might be surprised to learn that last week Audi celebrated its 25 year anniversary with First Automotive Works (FAW). FAW is based in China.

And coincident with the celebration of building Audis in China (FAW started with the assembly of Audi 100s from kits at the FAW Changchun plant), the two-millionth Audi, an A6 L produced in China, was delivered to a Chinese customer.

China is an important market for Audi. A really important market.

What’s even more notable, perhaps, is the fact that in 2010, the one-millionth Audi was delivered in China. So, one million from 1988 to 2010. A million more from 2010 to 2013.


Think that China isn’t an important market for the German company?

Audi models produced at the Changchun plant are the A6 L, the A4 L, the Q5, and the Q3.

The two companies have announced that they’ll be producing the A3 Sedan and the A3 Sportback at a new plant in Foshan. By the end of this year, Audi and FAW will have the capacity to produce as many as 200,000 cars in the two plants combined.

In addition to which, Audi (which opened an R&D center in Beijing earlier this year) and FAW have announced that they will be collaborating on the development of a plug-in hybrid car for the Chinese market.

Clearly the Chinese are receptive to the vehicles with four rings on the hood: Through the first half of 2013, 228,139 Audis were sold in China.

By way of comparison, Audi sold 74,277 vehicles through June in the U.S.

And Germany, the place you might think of vis-à-vis Audi? 128,345 vehicles, nearly 100,000 fewer than in China.

I wonder how you say “ach du lieber” in Chinese.