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Happy 30th birthday to FAW-Audi

By Li Fusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-26 10:55
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Representatives attend the 30th anniversary ceremony of FAW and Audi's cooperation. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"First, the brand has established itself, with its widespread and positive brand awareness in the country, which is the result of FAW and Audi's long and successful partnership," he said.

Liu said they have together built an industry-leading system, covering fields ranging from research and development to manufacturing, purchase and even sales and marketing. "Compared with our competitors in China, to be frank, we are more advanced," he said.

He made a special mention of human resources, saying that in the sales team, many Chinese are veterans who have worked diligently in the sector for more than a decade or even decades, and the Chinese employees in production and R&D have made great progress, as well.

"So the establishment covers the improvements and success in our abilities, which will prove very important in future cooperation," Liu said.

The achievements are primarily the results of FAW and Audi's efforts to promote what they call "localization throughout the value chain".

Liu said China-produced Audi models account for 90 percent of total sales in the country, much higher than other premium carmakers, which is an indication of a higher level of localization.

FAW-Volkswagen has built five state-of-the-art manufacturing bases in the country - in Changchun, Jilin province; Foshan, Guangdong province; Qingdao, Shandong province; Chengdu, Sichuan province; and Tianjin. Two of them - the Changchun and Foshan plants - are producing Audi models.

The 6.4 billion yuan ($922 million) Audi Q plant in Changchun, which is dedicated to producing the Q models, is the most advanced technologically of all Audi plants worldwide, according to Liu.

Audi's local production has helped to foster the development of local suppliers, as well.

"We will continue our job in this aspect, and actually we have now a new idea, called 'whole value chain co-innovation' between us and our partner Audi, in the new age of mobility," Liu said.

First, they will collaborate to build an internationally competitive research and development system.

Among others, FAW-Volkswagen will develop capacities for high-end electric vehicles. It will offer models specially for the Chinese market, and produce vehicles for overseas markets.

With the capacities, the carmaker expects Audi to become a leader in China's premium new energy vehicle segment, with such vehicles accounting for more than 30 percent of its sales in China by 2025.

The A6L e-tron, which is already produced locally, is Audi's first electrified car, and from next year on the e-tron, a purely electric SUV, will be available in China. It, too, will be localized starting in 2020.

FAW-Volkswagen also plans to develop and produce manufacturing equipment, which the carmaker said will facilitate localization of more Audi models and also helps to blaze a trail in this aspect for the Chinese automotive industry.

The partners will also establish a high-end digitalized mobility system. With its products such as Audi on demand+ and myAudi, it hopes to offer a better experience for its customers and turning Audi into a top brand in premium mobility.

"I believe, in the future, the advancement of the cooperation between FAW and Audi will become more confident and creative, which without doubt will lead to unexpected possibilities for customers, our company and our employees," said Rainer Seidl, first vice-president of FAW-Volkswagen.

Diess said Audi's 30 years in China is a success story of continuous innovation, transformation and friendship, and the brand is taking over a leading role to drive new technologies in China.

"We will continue to provide high-quality products which serve the needs of our Chinese customers. To maintain the high speed of development, we will be making available 15 billion euros for new technologies through 2022."

"A 30th anniversary is one of the best jubilees you could have: after 30 years there is enough experience to build upon and, at the same time, one is still young enough to accept new challenges," he said.

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