Beijing

Audi Innovation Research

Audi Innovation Research (AIR) Office Beijing decodes the fascinating country of China. In Beijing, the team lives with the city’s hectic tempo, which is much faster than in Europe. Mission: to help Audi to develop products, services and experiences.

AIR's mission – finding the next big thing

What does it mean to have an edge? To be number one? The best, the fastest? In a literal sense, having an edge means being one step ahead. For Audi, that means finding the right way to respond to global megatrends in the fields of digitization, sustainability, and urbanization. These decisions have a big impact on a customer's living space, their wishes and visions, and ultimately will define the future of mobility.

Audi Innovation Research analyzes these trends and takes a close look at what they mean for the Audi brand, researching and designing innovations that have the potential to revolutionize mobility. Within AIR's offices in China, teams are chipping away at the drivers of societal change and coming up with new ways to capture this “edge through technology” – now and in the future.

The AIR Office in China – AIR Beijing

For Audi China is the most important market - by far,  this makes the expectations of the local customers to the key point. China is developing at an incredible speed. The country has triggered a fundamental change and is leaving the old clichés behind: Copying was yesterday; the cliché of the so-called “workbench to the world” is passé. On the contrary: China is becoming a driver of innovation. Meanwhile, about a third of all patent applications now come from China. In Beijing, well known as the country’s media and high-tech hub, one feels the fast pace and the contrast of tradition and progress.

Audi Innovation Research - Beijing

The Team

Dr. Christian Balzer

Dr. Christian Balzer

Head of AIR

Hey, I am Christian and I am leading the AIR Beijing team since beginning of 2017. Before that I worked in several positons at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt and had the great chance to be part of exciting projects in several international markets like Japan, India, Singapore, Australia or the U.S.. Having the chance to work now in China is such a great learning journey.

I always say that China is a country of extremes. It’s really impressive how a keen awareness of traditions is combined with uninhibited modernity. Beijing is the pioneer in many respects. This is where trends are started and immediately tried out in the marketplace. The Chinese are very ambitious, especially with regard to new business models and digital services. One of the key drivers is the openness of Chinese customers: They are very curious and technology oriented. New products are accepted extremely fast and spread like wildfire.

In the coming years, this innovation potential will be increasingly prevalent also on a global scale. Ideas will be born in China and will then be accepted all over the world.

Zhisheng Xu (Danny)

Zhisheng Xu (Danny)

Senior Market Research Analyst

I am Danny, a senior market researcher in AIR office. My expertise are brand-related projects. The brand perception of Audi, for example, is crucial for the success of Audi. I evaluate the brand Audi systematically on an annual basis to help marketing and communication colleagues to shape Audi in the right direction.

China is calling for more innovation on smart vehicles and smart mobility solutions.

Zhisheng Xu

Haiwei Bai (Odin)

Haiwei Bai (Odin)

Senior Market Research Analyst

Since Feb of 2015, when I have joined AIR, I am mainly responsible for market research projects in terms of Audi products and digital services. Working in AIR is fascinating and exciting. Not only I have so professional and creative colleagues, but also I am amazed by all of our innovative projects to explore the future of China.

Digitalization, urbanization and sustainability – all those mega trends in China we see thrives on innovation.

Bai Haiwei

Shen Li

Shen Li

Senior Market Research Analyst

I am Shen and have joined AIR in August 2018 and I am mainly responsible for projects regarding the digital transformation for future automotive industry. With a diversified background and a deep understanding of the automotive market, I am thrilled to work as a research analyst in the AIR Beijing team. It is an inspiring and passionate working experience everyday.

It is an era of radical innovation in the automotive industry and we will make sure that Audi takes the lead by providing deeper insights.

Shen Li

Qingyang Wang (Jan)

Qingyang Wang (Jan)

Market Research Analyst

My name is Qingyang Wang and I have joined the AIR in the early 2020. I am mainly responsible for market research projects with the focus on sustainable product, digitalization and innovation. I hold a master’s degree in the field of intelligent driving from the Dortmund University of Technology. We investigate feelings, thoughts and desires of our customer to bring innovation insights from China to the globe.

China will play a crucial role for Audi’s success story to be progressive, premium and prestige in the future.

Qingyang Wang

Miaofen Xie (Mia)

Miaofen Xie (Mia)

Digital Business Analyst

I have been mainly responsible for digital business reporting since I joined AIR at the beginning of 2019. Being sensitive to data, I am really interested in gaining customer insights and providing information for business decision making. It is a fabulous experience for me in Audi to create a new business reporting platform, starting from scratch.

Intelligent analytics platform happens to be a crucial necessity to leverage the power of information and data.

Miaofen Xie

AIR team coordination

Frank Dieminger

Frank Dieminger

Walking new paths and shaping them; this is what is driving me. At Audi I am able to live this passion since 2011: first of all, within the Technical Development division in the area of sustainable product development, later on, within the sales division. The constant of my career is my sense for new business models linked to the expertise to test and implement them.

This background led me to Audi Innovation Research in 2017. Here, I can combine my knowledge with the challenge of coordinating our team’s efforts, defining synergies and deriving solutions for our international markets.

Approach and Projects

Explore. Analyze. Transfer. The AIR Office in Beijing explores the Chinese market and its development. Audi gets a behind-the-scenes peek into the customer’s world through interviews, workshops, and collaboration with trend receivers. This collected information is then analyzed and transferred between departments.

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