The discussion of a US based Audi factory has been around for several years. In fact, Audi’s sister company, VW just opened a new state of the art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee to help with increasing demands for their vehicles in the United States. However until today, the had been no confirmation of an Audi specific factory on our soil. Audi USA president, Johan de Nysschen told us at the Detroit Auto Show that they were “looking into possibilities” for a new US based plant of their own but did not confirm any plans at that time.
However in an interview with Automotive News, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said “It is totally clear that we need new production capacity in the U.S. The question only is when.”
“Our dealers currently ask for more cars than we can deliver,” Stadler said. “Our delivery times are still too high.”
This is a great problem for Audi to have, and it will be interesting to see how they increase capacities in the interim. I know dealers and customers alike share the frustration that many top models like the Q5 and TDI versions are nearly impossible to find just sitting on dealer lots. Audi currently only holds enough inventory in the United States to last them approximately 21 days.
Now that we know they will be adding a factory here, we should know soon where the factory will be located. We will not be surprised to see them put it next door to the VW plant in Chattanooga. We expect the factory to focus on the Q5 and next generation Q7, or perhaps the next generation A4. The addition of a United States based factory will result in increased capacity and decreased lead times. With moves like this, it is apparent that Audi’s goal of becoming the top luxury brand in the world but 2015 is not far fetched at all.
Source: Automotive News