August 3, 2003
During last weekend, Audi and Real Madrid presented their new premium partnership on the Asian market. Audi, which recently announced that it is the “royal” club’s exclusive automobile sponsor for the next three seasons, hosted the Spanish League Champions at its newly-opened Audi Forum in Beijing. The Forum is Audi’s ninth representative location worldwide and the first in Asia.
Real Madrid stars such as Figo and Raúl were present at the event in the Audi Forum and signed autographs for 100 specially invited Chinese guests. The players and team management arrived at the Audi Forum in a fleet of Audi cars.
At the event, Erich Schmitt, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG with responsibility for the Chinese market, and Real Madrid CF’s President Florentino Pérez, joined forces in saying: “Two premium sporting brands have searched for and found each other.”
Real Madrid is the world’s best-known football club and is very popular in Asia. The club, which has been Spanish League Champions 29 times and has won the Champions League nine times, is the ideal partner for Audi, which is the leading premium car brand in China.
Audi has enjoyed success on the Chinese market since 1988. In the first six months of 2003, the company with the four-ring badge sold more than 29,000 cars in China (84 percent more than in the first half of 2002). And the Ingolstadt-based car manufacturer has recently launched a series of new products.
Production of the Audi A4 for the Chinese market started in Changchun in April this year, making it the second Audi model to be produced in China, alongside the Changchun-built Audi A6. The new Audi A8 for the Chinese market was presented during the opening ceremony of the Audi Forum Beijing in July. Other Audi models, including the Audi TT, allroad quattro and A4 Cabriolet, are imported into China.
For Audi, China is the largest market in the Asia-Pacific region and also offers the largest growth potential worldwide. Last year, Audi sold a total of 36,500 cars in China. This year’s sales target is to exceed the 50,000-unit mark by a considerable margin, with 70 percent of the cars to be sold to private customers. Sales are via an exclusive network of dealers, currently numbering 63 in 44 cities.