|May 11, 2010
Source: Audi AG
· Large ceremony attended by Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme
· Series production of the first premium car in the subcompact segment begins today at the Audi site in Brussels
· Carmaker plans to produce 100,000 Audi A1 vehicles annually
Brussels/Ingolstadt, The stage is set for the next big Audi: In a ceremony attended by Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme and Minister-President of the Brussels Capital Region Charles Picqué, the official starting signal for production of the Audi A1 was given by Professor Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG, and Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. The event at the Audi plant in Brussels served as a showcase for presentation of the new Audi model, which will be manufactured in the Belgian capital.
The start of production of the A1 and an investment of three hundred million euros in the Audi Brussels plant is a clear sign in favor of the automotive industry in Europe we are competitive here and the car is and will remain a powerful driving force for growth and innovation, emphasized
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn in his welcoming speech in front of high-ranking guests from political and business circles.
The A1 represents an important milestone for our company, stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. Firstly, we are charting new territory with the model by launching the first premium vehicle in the subcompact segment. Secondly, the new model will play an important role in helping us to once again reach the record mark of one million vehicles sold in 2010, thus continuing our success story. Accordingly, the Company is planning an annual production volume of 100,000 units on average of the Audi A1, announced Stadler. An initial 50,000 units of the A1 model line are planned for 2010, the year of production start-up; 80,000 more are scheduled to be built in 2011.
The car manufacturer’s very substantial investment in the Brussels site means that Audi Brussels is now equipped to build around 500 vehicles a day in two shifts, thereby enabling the brand to sustain its dynamic growth in the long-term future. The guests had the opportunity to admire the renovated production areas, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and ergonomic workplaces at the Brussels plant during the ceremony to mark the start of production. In addition to the management and the Board of Directors of AUDI BRUSSELS S.A./N.V., the guest list included representatives from the Company, the Works Council and the unions as well as members of the European Parliament.
Audi Brussels is assuming major responsibility in the Company with the production of the A1 that is both a challenge and an opportunity at the same time, underscored Dr. Werner Widuckel. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Audi Brussels and Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources at AUDI AG is convinced that the site is optimally prepared. In addition to investing in the infrastructure, the Company has also been schooling employees in their new tasks. Intensive training of the new workflow procedures has been conducted at Audi Brussels over the course of the past several months to ensure that the new Audi A1 satisfies the high quality standards of the brand with the four rings right from the start of production.
The plant in the Forest district of Brussels was founded in 1949. The Audi A3 Sportback has been built at the site since AUDI AG assumed management responsibility for the plant in 2007.
The VW Polo was also produced at the location until late 2009. Some 2,200 employees currently work at Audi Brussels.