First Automotive Works was founded in 1953 and employs some 118,000 people. The first partnerships with Volkswagen AG date back to 1988. A joint venture was established in 1991, with AUDI AG entering as a partner four years later. The group has since held 10 per cent of all FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Ltd shares.
The production site
Changchun at a glance
The Audi A4 L, Audi A6 L, Audi Q3 and Audi Q5 model lines are being produced for the Chinese market at the headquarters of the oldest and largest automotive company in China, First Automotive Works (FAW). In 2014, Audi set a new record in the Chinese market, delivering 578,932 cars for the first time in China and Hong Kong – an increase of 17.7 per cent year-on-year. As such, China has become Audi’s largest single market worldwide.
Production – state-of-the-art automotive and manufacturing technology
Production under licence of the Audi 100 from imported parts kits got underway in Changchun in 1988. The first Audi product built by the joint venture, an Audi 100 with a V6 engine, went into production in 1996 badged as an Audi 200. A version of the Audi A6 modified jointly by Audi and FAW for the Chinese market then followed in 2000. To build it, Audi shipped ultramodern automotive and production technology, such as laser welding and wax-flooding, to China. In mid-2005 a new long-wheelbase version, the Audi A6 L, was launched in the Chinese market.
Local production for the local market
The Audi A4, too, has been built in Changchun since 2003. The Audi A4 L joined it at the start of 2009 – a new product in the upper midsize category. In autumn 2009, the Q5 became the first Audi SUV built in China. The Audi Q3, which was made in China at local production facilities, similarly went on sale in spring 2013. The one millionth Audi was manufactured in Changchun in October 2010. Just three years later, in July 2013, Audi and its joint-venture partner FAW exceeded the two-million mark. A new FAW-Volkswagen plant in Foshan (Guangdong Province) in southern China was completed in 2013. The Audi A3 Sportback has been produced here for Chinese customers since early 2014, while the production of the Audi A3 Saloon started mid-2014. These two plants will enable Audi to expand total annual capacity to as many as 700,000 units by 2017.
Sustainability and environmental protection
The Audi Production System (APS) has been used intensively in recent years at the Changchun production site to implement numerous environmental aspects and Audi’s environmental policy at all levels. Audi’s environmental standards thus apply to production in China. By integrating lightweight components into local production, Audi is not only further boosting energy efficiency in China, but also once again demonstrating its trailblazing role in sustainability and environmental protection.
More about environmental protection
Research and development
Audi has been active in Chinese automotive development with its Chinese partner FAW for 25 years. Audi was the first premium car maker to tailor a long-wheelbase version for the Chinese market. Audi engineers have been successfully customizing infotainment solutions for China, Japan and Korea since 2008 – including a touchpad for the navigation system. The touchpad can be used to write Asian characters by hand.
In February 2013, Audi founded a Research & Development Centre for Asia in Beijing. In close collaboration with partner FAW-Volkswagen, Audi teams at the R&D Centre focus primarily on the product requirements of Asian customers. The R&D Centre also ensures that Asian innovations and trends are integrated into the global development of AUDI AG’s future products. The R&D Centre Asia is located in the new Audi China building in Beijing’s art district.
The new Research & Development Centre will bring the number of developers in Beijing from 40 to 200. A prototype hall and test facilities have also been set up. The laboratory and workshop areas encompass some 8,000 square metres.
Sales and marketing
Over 340 dealerships in more than 150 key cities and regions throughout China make Audi’s exclusive network of dealerships a benchmark. As well as vehicles made in China, Audi is steadily marketing more and more imported models. A wide range of cultural and sports sponsorships promote Audi’s image in China. For example, Audi was the Official Premium Automobile at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Audi also organises the Audi Art and Design Award, the Audi Summer Concerts and the Audi quattro Cup in China.
Audi City Beijing, the first digital Audi Showroom in Asia, opened at the end of January 2013 in the heart of this metropolis in northern China. Covering an area of 2,100 square metres, the two-storey cyberstore allows visitors to digitally customise a car from several million possible configurations and experience it true to life on large screens on a scale of 1:1.
In the latest J.D. Power studies on customer satisfaction in China, Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) and Customer Service Index (CSI), Audi once again took first place as the best premium brand.
Audi Forum Beijing
Audi opened the first Audi Forum in Asia in the renowned Beijing Oriental Plaza business and commercial centre in 2003. Barely a stone’s throw from the Gate of Heavenly Peace, the Audi brand is vividly evoked through attractive exhibits, an exclusive lounge and the quattro boutique across some 1,000 square metres.