Audi Looking To Expand In The US
December 6, 2007
Audi, one of the fastest growing German luxury brands, has set its sight on increasing its profitability. According to reports, the automaker's chief executive officer Rupert Stadler announced in an interview that the company is looking to reach their 8 percent profit margin earlier than projected. The automaker is also mulling the idea of building an assembly facility in the United States.
Auto Motor und Sport reported that Stadler pointed out the weakness of the dollar has made them think about putting up an assembly plant in the country. This is interesting as ordinarily, American automakers such as Ford and General Motors are putting up assembly plants in countries like India, Mexico, and China where they can save a lot of money on wages and on the production cost of vehicles. But with the dollar on the decline, the United States is now being seen by European automakers especially Audi as a country where they can save on wages and production cost.
"It is not enough to turn out just a few parts like door finishings in the dollar zone; we must look at components with more added value such as the engine and transmission," said Stadler during the interview.
Apart from those goals, the German automaker is also confident that they would be able to attain their profit margin goal ahead of schedule. Stadler said that they are looking to achieve that feat before the set 2010 timeline. "We certainly have adversaries like the weak level of the dollar to deal with but barring unforeseen events, our goal of reaching a profit margin of eight percent will be reached before 2010," said Stadler.
When pressed for what vehicle the German automaker might produce in the United States, Stadler said that the Audi Q7 is a good vehicle to be made in the country. Volkswagen, Audi's parent company, has already announced its plan to open an assembly plant in North America to complement their existing plant in Puebla, Mexico. These auto assembly facilities are producing high quality Volkswagen auto parts and it can be expected that if Audi follows Volkswagen' steps, their plant will be producing Audi axle -equipped vehicles in the near future.
The German automaker also announced that they have set a goal to sell 950,000 vehicles this year. Audi was seen in the past as an also-ran automaker as Mercedes-Benz and BMW are the biggest luxury carmakers in Europe. But earlier this year, Audi has affirmed that they are looking to close the gap between them and the two other German luxury car manufacturers.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|