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Audi to tailor more vehicles for China via new joint venture | Updated: 2021-09-29 11:01
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Thorsten Godulla, SAIC Audi's sales and marketing president, delivers a speech on Monday at the company's showroom in Beijing. [Photo provided to]

Audi AG will produce more tailor-made models for China in partnership with its second local partner SAIC, as the German premium carmaker expects to grow its share in the world's largest vehicle market.

Thorsten Godulla, SAIC Audi's sales and marketing president, said on Monday more models specially designed for China will hit the market in coming years, which will not be available in other parts of the world.

SAIC Audi's first model, the A7L sedan, rolled off the assembly line on Sunday. It was developed based on Chinese team's voice.

Godulla, who has worked at Audi for 27 years and came to China four weeks ago, unveiled the product plan as SAIC Audi opened its first showrooms on Monday in six cities including Beijing.

The model to follow the A7L sedan is an electric SUV, which made its premiere as a concept earlier this year. The mass-produced version will be unveiled in coming months, said Godulla.

Jia Mingdi, also president of SAIC Audi's sales and marketing, said besides tailor-made models, SAIC Audi is exploring a customer-centric e-commerce system, in which vehicles are sold at fixed prices across the country and customers can place orders online.

He said the online system allows the company to respond fast to customer feedback and thus improve their satisfaction.

But Jia said SAIC Audi will not focus on online operations only, because customers may want to visit showrooms and try the models.

SAIC Audi is planning to have around 70 downtown showrooms by the end of the year. The figure is expected to grow to 200 across 80 cities in the coming two to three years, said Jia.

The new company expects innovative sales mode and the tailor-made lineup will help Audi to seize a larger share of China's premium vehicle market. Besides SAIC, Audi is producing and selling vehicles in the country with FAW Group.

Premium vehicle sales in China are expected to grow from 3.1 million units from now to over 4.5 million by the end of the decade.

Audi came to China around 30 years ago. It has sold more than 7 million vehicles in the Chinese market and is preparing to further tap the growth potential in the world's largest vehicle market.


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