June 28, 2002
Photos & Text courtesy of Audi AG
The Chinese version of the Audi A6 appeared on the market around two years ago, and the 50,000th specimen of this model has already been sold. Its delighted new owner is Jiquan Mu, Managing Director of Shandong Golden Bridge Technology Ltd. To mark this special occasion Jiquan Mu, together with his daughter and four other Audi customers, were invited to visit Germany. He will be visiting Ingolstadt today as part of his itinerary.
The 50,000th Chinese-built A6 illustrates Audi’s remarkable success story in China, where the brand with the four-ring badge, the only manufacturer with local production operations, has captured top spot in the Chinese premium segment. Its market share is over 30 percent. 29,370 vehicles (2000: 17,451) were delivered to Chinese customers in 2001. In the first half of 2002, vehicle sales reached more than 15,600 (an increase of 4.1 percent).
China has developed into one of Audi’s strategically most important export markets worldwide, alongside Europe and the USA. The dealer network, comprising 47 dealers in 36 Chinese cities, has moreover been systematically developed. It is to be increased in size to 65 exclusive Audi dealers.
In addition to the Audi A6, which is built in China, almost the entire range of models built in Germany is exported to China. The first six months of 2002 saw a year-on-year increase in sales of imported vehicles of more than 81 percent. The Audi A8 is the most popular imported model, with a share of 41 percent. China is thus one of the most important markets for Audi’s top-of-the-range model.
Following the start of A6 production in 1999, it very soon became apparent that Audi’s strategy of adapting a current model for the Chinese market was an absolute winner; Audi is the only premium manufacturer in this segment to have adopted such an approach. The sales figures tell their own story. Since the establishment of the joint venture with the Chinese partner First Automobile Works (FAW) in 1989, the brand’s image has undergone a veritable transformation. The partnership initially focused on production of the Audi 100 under licence, culminating in its incorporation into the FAW-VOLKSWAGEN joint venture for the production of the Audi 200.