|March 11, 2008
Audi Forum Ingolstadt: World of Discovery in a New Light
The AUDI AG corporate identity has a new face: A new era has begun for customers and visitors to the Audi Forum Ingolstadt. The changes were based on Audi's new showroom concept, using superbly crafted materials. The combination of new-car pickup, museum, factory tour, dining facilities, independent movie theater, events and services is now presented within an exclusive world of discovery. A total of about €5 million was invested in the new appearance.
With the reopening of the Customer Center, the visit has now become even more attractive for customers picking up their new cars. Customers from all over the world are now greeted with a welcome banner in multiple languages at the expanded central reception. The completely redesigned check-in with seating area is now easier to reach with an escalator. An espresso bar, a separate area for new-car pickup and lounges make the moments up to handover of the new car even more individualized. The customer is welcomed upstairs, while the new car awaits its owner one storey below. Below the gallery, an illuminated wall and ceiling with 2,000 neon tubes has been created to show off the new Audi in the best possible light.
Customers picking up their new cars can follow along by watching a total of 30 video screens to see exactly when their car will be handed over to them. This allows them to stay informed of the schedule and also learn about the latest offerings at the Audi Forum, such as event information, theater schedules and concerts. “Audi tv” is now shown in the Customer Center. As an additional service, traffic reports are also inserted to help make the journey home more pleasant.
On the upper level of the Customer Center, the Audi Shop – newly expanded to 400 square meters – offers a range of items related to the Audi brand. Completely outfitted in black-and-white, it is also based on the new showroom concept. A lighting concept with south-facing windows and windows for the elevators guarantees a light and modern atmosphere for an enjoyable shopping experience.
Customers picking up their new cars stay an average of 4.5 hours in the Forum, during which they also visit the dining facilities consisting of a bar and lounge, a wine shop, and the likewise newly designed Market Restaurant with international dishes. By furnishing the Market Restaurant with modern tables, chairs and food counters, room was made for 40 new seats. In the elegant Avus fine dining restaurant, guests have the chance to enjoy a culinary theme night or the creations of celebrated chefs.
According to a recent study, the main motivation for customers picking up their cars – aside from the actual handover of their car – is a tour of the factory. All visitors to the Audi Forum can also choose from a broad selection of 22 different discovery tours. These include theme-based tours about environmental protection, logistics, realms of color, car bodies and motor racing.
During the redesign, the museum mobile expanded its range of offerings for its guests: Both motor racing areas have been newly staged through multimedia technology and platforms; in the future, nine new exhibits will be displayed. The Audi sport quattro will be one of these displays, just in time for its 25th anniversary. The world’s largest paternoster has also been newly furnished with 14 concept cars and prototypes. The museum mobile will present the temporary exhibition, “Power and Splendor – Legendary State Limousines,” until end of June. In the new, spaciously designed museum shop, guests to the Audi Forum Ingolstadt will find a selected assortment of literature, automotive memorabilia and historic models.
The redesign of the facilities took place in record time: Remodeling began at the end of December, and large areas of the forum were gutted. About 100 square meters of debris had to be disposed of each day. At times, up to 300 people were employed around-the-clock for the construction work. The partial demolition and reconstruction of areas such as the Customer Center, within an area the size of two soccer fields, and the Audi dining facilities was accomplished in just eight weeks.
“The Audi Forum remains, as always, a crowd-pleaser,” said Thomas Frank, who heads the Audi Forum Ingolstadt. Since opening in December 2000, more than 2.7 million guests have visited the Audi Forum. The majority of visitors are customers and their companions coming to pick up their new cars, making up about 145,000 people annually. The visit pays off, as an independent 2007 customer satisfaction study confirmed. The study found that the high expectations of 91 percent of those picking up their new cars were in fact exceeded.
“I always like to reminisce about that pickup day in Ingolstadt; when I got in my car, everything was perfect,” said one statement from the study. “The new corporate identity of the Audi Forum Ingolstadt is aimed precisely at continuing this successful history, and provides a pioneering, fascinating framework for people to come into contact with the brand,” Thomas Frank said.
AUDI AG sold a total of 964,151 cars in 2007 and thus achieved its twelfth consecutive record year. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Györ (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). At the end of 2007, production of the Audi A6 started in Aurangabad, India. The company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG’s wholly owned subsidiaries include Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi employs more than 54,000 people worldwide, including 45,000 in Germany. The brand with the four rings invests more than € 2 billion each year in order to sustain the company’s technological lead embodied in its “Vorsprung durch Technik” slogan. Audi plans to nearly double the number of models in its portfolio by 2015, from the 25 currently on offer to 40.