|March 17, 2005
Audi Establishes Brazilian Sales Company
AUDI AG announced the establishment of the fully-owned sales subsidiary Audi Brasil Distribuidora de Veículos Ltda today in São Paulo. This involves the acquisition of the remaining 49 percent holding in the Brazilian sales joint venture Audi Senna Ltda by Audi. This sales joint venture was founded in January 2000 between Audi (51 percent holding) and the Senna Group (49 percent holding). The new structure comes into force with immediate effect.
Ralph Weyler, Audi Board Member for Sales: "By taking over complete responsibility for distribution we are underlining the importance of Brazil as a key South American market. We will operate directly in this market in the long-term just as we have done in Korea, Australia and Japan. Our goal is to further extend the market leadership in the premium segment that we have achieved in Brazil throughout the entire South American region." Audi reached a friendly agreement with the Senna Group regarding the takeover, and future cooperation is certainly possible. Audi will also continue to work together with the Senna Foundation in the area of social sponsorship, explained Weyler.
Audi sold more than 64,000 vehicles in Brazil between 1994, when it entered the market, and 2004. With a market share of 44 percent in the premium segment in 2004, Audi is the market leader in Brazil. Last year Audi sold more than 6,200 vehicles in Brazil and around 9,100 in the South America region. Matthias Seidl, Head of Sales for America at AUDI AG, is "convinced that the new sales structure in Brazil will make it possible to tap the considerable market potential for South America that still exists".
The history: in 1993 AUDI AG signed an exclusive agreement in Ingolstadt concerning the sale of Audi vehicles through Senna Import, a company founded by triple Formula 1 World Champion Ayrton Senna. Senna Import commenced its work in March the following year. At the beginning of December 1999, AUDI AG signed an agreement with Senna Import regarding the establishment of a sales joint venture with effect from 1st January 2000.
Parallel to this, Audi started building the Audi A3 at the Curitiba plant in the state of Paraná. To this end, the fully-owned subsidiary Audi do Brasil e Cia was established in 1997. This company, which is based in Curitiba and has an office in São Paulo, holds the Audi shares in the plant built jointly with Volkswagen do Brasil in Curitiba. Audi do Brasil e Cia is not affected by the takeover and it will remain responsible for the after sales support of Audi importers in South America and for tasks relating to production of the Audi A3 at the Curitiba plant.