July 14, 2003
Audi continues its success story in China and is celebrating with the opening of an exclusive Audi Forum in the Chinese capital Beijing. This is the ninth Audi Forum worldwide after cities such as New York, Paris, London and Berlin, and the first in Asia. At the opening ceremony Erich Schmitt, Board Member for Purchasing at AUDI AG and responsible for the Chinese market, presented the new Audi A8 for China to the 300 or so guests who attended.
“The new A8 is another Audi highlight in China,” Schmitt announced. “This top product will enable us to further extend our market leadership in the premium segment.” In the first six months of the year, Audi increased its sales by 84 percent to more than 29,000 vehicles. The Audi Forum is a further factor underlining the significance of the Chinese market for the company, explained Schmitt.
The Audi Forum, which covers an area of around 1,000 square metres, includes an exhibition section for about nine cars, an exclusive A8 lounge, the quattro boutique and offices. As well as the Audi A8 and a cutaway model of the A8, product highlights at the opening include a Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet from 1936, an Audi RS 6, an A4 saloon and an A4 Cabriolet.
The Audi A6 and, since April, the Audi A4 are built in China within the scope of the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture in which Audi has a 10 percent stake. China is Audi’s largest market in the Asia-Pacific region and also offers the biggest growth potential worldwide. Audi sold a total of 36,500 vehicles in China last year alone. This year the company’s goal is to sell more than 50,000 units, 70 percent of which to private customers. The exclusive dealer network is rapidly being expanded. Audi is currently represented by 63 dealers in 44 cities.