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VW Announces Major New China Investment

Maker’s announcement will spread impact of auto manufacturing to Western China.

by on Apr.23, 2012

VW already has an established manufacturing base in first-tier Pacific Coast Chinese cities, such as Shanghai.

It’s a huge week for the Chinese auto industry with most of the headlines emerging from the biennial Beijing Motor Show – but at least one major story is coming from halfway around the world.

During a meeting at corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen AG officials revealed to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel plans for a major expansion in the automaker’s long-running partnership with China First Automobile Group.  That includes a new plant in Urumqi, capital of the western province of Xinjiang.

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That in itself is significant, supporting Chinese government efforts to spread the country’s economic boom and — in turn — create new markets for automakers like VW.

“A 30-year success story unites Volkswagen and China,” Volkswagen AG CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn told the visiting officials. “As a pioneer of the Chinese automotive industry we gave important momentum to China’s industrial development and to German-Sino economic relations. Together with our partners we will now carry this pioneering spirit into Western China as well.”


Audi Wants U.S. Plant – So Please Buy More Cars

Target date: 2015?

by on Mar.09, 2011

Audi America President Johan de Nysschen wants to open a plant in the States - finally.

It wouldn’t take much to get Audi to build a new plant in the U.S., says the maker’s U.S. chief executive, just better sales.

After years of debating whether it needs to put a plant in North America, the Volkswagen subsidiary has finally concluded it’s a good idea, especially considering the impact the strong Euro is having on products imported from across the Atlantic.

But the key to moving ahead on an investment that would likely top $500 million will be to boost sales to a level that can justify a U.S. assembly plant, says Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen.

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“We think we’ll be able to reach volumes that facilitate a confident decision about U.S. manufacturing before the year 2015,” the executive explains.

Audi’s confidence reflects its improving fortunes after years struggling to push out of the second tier of luxury brands.  While it now rings up global sales close to those of rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz, it only broke the 100,000 mark in the key U.S. market last year.  That’s less than half the volume of American luxury leader Lexus.