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Cutting costs these days seems to be all about building factories in the country meant to buy your products. Audi is following that mantra by announcing designs to build a plant in North America.
Doing so would help the brand avoid the pitfalls of the European economy and make the actual act of bringing vehicles to market much simpler.
“It’s not a matter of if we will do a plant in North America, but when,” Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen told WardsAuto. “The decision to do a plant, technically we’ve reached that conclusion. It’s a matter now of waiting to pull the trigger.” So that means we, and most everyone concerned with the auto industry, are asking just that— when? Though there isn’t a date settled, Audi might be motivated to move quickly in an effort to meet their 150,000 U.S. unit sales goal by 2015.
“One advantage of Mexico is that you could support the growing markets down in South America, Brazil,” said De Nysschen. “More so, you have the benefit of exporting cars into Europe duty-free.” Despite that, Mexico isn’t a definite destination. He also said there are definite advantages to building the plant in the U.S., though using Volkswagen‘s Chattanooga, TN plant isn’t an option because it is expected to be running at maximum capacity.
“Getting a plant allows us to have a higher degree of U.S. content. It allows us to have a natural hedge against that,” he said.
Even with such discussions, the fact remains heavily on Audi’s radar that their sales don’t currently justify building such a plant.
“We’ve got to build our business to get to the point where, with a combination of production for the U.S. and some exports to other markets, we can get the economies of scale to make that factory work.” In other words, the company is looking for much greater sales before staking out territory for their North American plant.
[Source: Wards Auto]