China's joining of the WTO has opened up new perspectives. As far as the car market is concerned, lower import duties mean a greater buying incentive – and therefore growth. The liberalisation of the Chinese economy is expected to produce a further increase. As a partner of today’s China FAW Group Corporation (FAW), Audi is extremely well prepared for this.
On the trail of the Silk Road
The foundation stone for the successful presence of AUDI AG in China was laid more than 20 years ago, in 1988. After negotiations lasting a year, the first joint venture agreement was signed with the Chinese First Automobile Works (FAW), based in the province of Jijin in Northeast China. This was followed by another important milestone in 1995 – the inclusion in the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture, today the China FAW Group Corporation (FAW), which had been established in 1991.
AUDI AG has a 10 percent share in the joint venture. The successful production of a modified Audi 100 with a V6 engine was followed in January 2000 by the market launch of the A6.
Together with FAW, this model has been specifically adapted to the needs of the Chinese market. This is an absolute first in the premium vehicle segment. Typical Audi! Since April 2003 the Audi A4 has also been produced locally in Changchun for the Chinese market.
To mark the 20-year anniversary, the cornerstone for a new assembly hall was laid at the Changchun site in June 2008. This expansion of capacity takes account of the increasing demand for the A6 L and A4 models. Since the end of 2008, the long-wheelbase A4 L has been manufactured exclusively for the Chinese market and since 2010 the Audi Q5.
In addition to the A4L and A6L sedan models and the Q5, the Q3 SUV model will also be produced at Changchun (China) from March 2013. The joint venture FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Company, Ltd., Changchun (China), which includes the partners AUDI AG and FAW, is currently constructing a further car plant in Foshan, South China. It will have a press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly line. A new model of the A3 family will be built there from the end of 2013.