VW to Help Audi Boost US Sales

Although it initially planned to double the United States sales by 2015, Audi may have a more difficult task than it first looked like, especially if taking into account the global economic crisis that reduced sales of most companies. However, Volkswagen may lend a helping hand to Audi, allowing it to build US-addressed models at the Chattanooga production facility, scheduled for release in 2011.

In fact, this would be the only way to boost sales in the United States for Audi, with American units built locally, in order to minimize production costs, Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said according to Automotive News.

Winterkorn confirmed plans to move Audi's US production to Chattanooga plant but admitted that a decision is expected sometime in the near future. "Perhaps in Chattanooga, but we have no decision yet,” Winterkorn commented on the possibility to help Audi reach its goal.

However, Volkswagen Group's CEO said that it all depends on the car model Audi prepares for the US market, with the majority of buyers looking for fuel efficient engines rather than for high-performance vehicles.

"They should have the right product for the market," Winterkorn told Autonews. "The new mid-sized car which we want to build in America, we want only to sell in America,” he added explaining that Audi should follow the same market strategy used by Volkswagen.

Jochem Heizmann, VW group board of management member in charge of production, confirmed the possibility to move Audi's US production to Chattanooga but pointed that a final decision is expected next year.

"We have very precise, definite concepts of where to expand and how to expand the paint shop, how to expand the final assembly, how to expand the body shop. There is a possibility to build Audi cars at this plant as well,” Heizmann was quoted as saying by Autonews.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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