While most carmakers in Europe complain of overcapacity and are forced to close plants, Audi announced that it has added 12 extra shifts at its factory in Neckarsulm, Germany. This happened in the first quarter of this year, due to strong demand for its A6 and A7 models. The VW-owned premium carmaker said it is planning additional shifts in April to meet demand for its large models.
The Ingolstadt-based automaker said in a statement that it produced around 2,600 cars more in Neckarsulm than initially planned during the first quarter. The plant is Audi’s second-largest after the main facility in Ingolstadt.
Although Audi admitted economic conditions in Europe in the first three months of the year were “difficult”, the carmaker’s strong orders stresses the flexibility of the luxury-car segment, as opposed to the shrinking total market in on the continent.
The brand with the four rings aims to convert demand into an increase in revenue and deliveries this year, helped by its expanding SUV lineup and the new-generation A3 model. It’s no secret that Audi’s ambition is to dethrone BMW as the world’s largest luxury-car maker by the end of this decade.
Audi announced it will invest €11 billion ($14.2 billion) by 2015 to increase production and add new models to its lineup. The German automaker will open a new plant in Foshan, China, later this year, and is currently expanding its manufacturing facility in Gyor, Hungary. Both plants will build the upcoming A3 sedan, among other models.
By Dan MihalascuStory References: Bloomberg