Audi Takes Full
Ownership of Australian Importer
- Today, AUDI AG signed a contract in Sydney, according to
which it acquires the remaining 50 percent stake in the
Australian importer Audi Australia Pty Ltd from Cycle &
Carriage Ltd., Singapore. The contract will come into effect
on 1 January 2004. Audi Australia will then be a fully owned
subsidiary of AUDI AG.
The current importer joint venture was established in 2001
between Audi and Cycle & Carriage, both holding a 50
percent share. Matthias Seidl, head of AUDI AG's Overseas
Sales, comments: "By taking complete ownership of Audi
Australia Pty Ltd, we emphasize the significance of the
Australian market for Audi. This action is a signal to our
customers and our dealers of our long-term and direct
commitment. We are confident that both the Fifth Continent as
well as the entire Asia/Pacific region continues to harbour
considerable market potential for Audi."
This year, sales are expected to go up by about 40 percent to
more than 80,000 vehicles in the Asia/Pacific region as a
whole. For Australia alone, sales of around 4,400 units have
been planned. In the past year, Audi delivered 56,483 units to
customers in the Asia/Pacific region, with 4,158 destined for
Australia. Along with China and Japan, the region comprises
the whole of North-, South- and Southeast Asia, Australia, New
Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
In February 1997, the company, which was then operating under
the name of Astre German Automotive Pty Ltd, took over Audi
imports to Australia. In January 2001, Audi acquired an
initial 50 percent share and appointed Graham Hardy, 47, from
Audi South Africa as the company's new managing director. At
the same time, the company was renamed Audi Australia Pty Ltd.
The establishment of a National Sales Company in Australia is
part of the Audi brand's strategic repositioning in the
Asia/Pacific region. Jörg Hofmann, Head of the Asia/Pacific
region at Audi says: "It is our strategic goal to further
strengthen brand awareness and image within the region's key
markets. We will therefore be expanding our commitment
considerably in this region over the next three years."