By on January 21, 2011

Audi wants to stop its foot-dragging and make a decision about U.S. production soon, reports Automobilwoche [sub]. Until recently, this discussion had been shelved until 2015. But apparently, Volkswagen’s financial planners fear a stronger euro and a weaker dollar.

The factory could be an extension of Chattanooga. A standalone plant is also possible. More dealers are also planned.

China remains Audi’s growth central. Audi chief Rupert Stadler is not worried about a Chinese bubble and shows confidence into Chinese planners: “In the last decades, China always managed to put its five year plan into practice, and to generate 8 percent growth. I assume they will continue doing that.”

He’s more worried about other unnamed countries: “Growth built on debt is not good.” Who is he talking about?

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17 Comments on “Audi Might Produce in America Sooner...”

  • avatar

    If they distinguish the US made versions by removing the Adam Lambert LED guyliner then I’m all in.

  • avatar

    Yippie, Audis made with Chrysler parts…

    • 0 avatar

      According the JD Powers 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) which rates vehicle dependability over 3 years, Chrysler had 166 problems per 100 cars, while Audi had 182 (which was below KIA, Chevrolet and Nissan). So maybe that wouldn’t be so bad…

  • avatar

    He’s more worried about other unnamed countries: “Growth built on debt is not good.” Who is he talking about?

    Germany, France or Japan as they all have higher levels of public debt that the US.

    • 0 avatar

      Except those figures represent 2009 estimates…and US debt exploded in the meantime and is now 95% of the GDP.

    • 0 avatar

      95% of the GDP.

      You’ve made the common mistake of including “Intergovernmental Holdings”.  We keep some of our unfunded pension liabilities on the books in the form of the Social Security Trust Fund.   Germany, France, Japan etc. also have huge unfunded pension liabilities – they just don’t include them in their debt figures like we do.

  • avatar
    chitbox dodge

    For what it is worth, I live in Chattanooga’s backyard and up until two to three years ago was a resident/citizen of Chattanooga. The scuttlebutt here has always been as soon as the VW plant is rolling that the intent is to build an Audi plant. I hear that through the contract fitters and construction workers building the current plant.
    There is also intent to build some of VW’s parts suppliers here as well. Once again though, it’s hear-say.

  • avatar

    Volkswagen has stated publicly that they are planning on sourcing a lot of components locally, or at least from North America, for the vehicles built here.
    As far as Audi is concerned, Volkwagen AG told Volkswagen NA to acquire sufficient land with the intention of eventually manufacturing Audis here in the US as well.
    My guess would be that they will build only transverse engine based models here (A3)

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    Audi could (but probably will not) do something outside the ordinary and unexpected, by buying some of the empty auto plants recently abandoned, refurbish them and provide jobs for Americans in areas where the need is great. 

    Kind of like southern Michigan. 

    For example, the ex-Packard/Ford/Motorcraft/Visteon factory near Utica, Michigan (near what is left of the old Packard proving ground) would be a good place to start.  (And before any other automotive historians nit-pick, I realize the plant never built Packard cars, but V8 engines and jet engines; it also was vastly enlarged after Packard sold it to Ford).

    • 0 avatar

      Mr Carpenter,

      I couldn’t agree or hope more.  The reality, however, is that manufacturers are disinterested in the northern states such as Michigan and Ohio and moving south because the unions are far less powerful and the taxes/regulations much more reasonable.

      As an Ohioan, I feel your pain. I don’t understand why former governor Strickland and various mayors did not go to Volkswagen when they were selecting sites and ask “What do you need to come to Ohio?” What do we have to lose? A few hundred acres of farmland or a few hundred acres of abandoned warehouses/factories?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Good to see you Mr. Carpenter.  I haven’t always agreed with your posts but you have always caused me to pause and think.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a hard time believing that they would put a plant in a state that is not a right-to-work state, whether Michigan/Ohio needs jobs or not.  That need is not the manufacturer’s problem, but the UAW sure would be.
      Also, from what I understand, retrofitting an existing plant can be more expensive than a greenfield build.  I’d not want to have to certify to the EPA that an old industrial site is clean before I take responsibility for it.

    • 0 avatar

      @ EEGeek –
      And that is a lot of the problem that Cuyahoga County is having.  There are literally street blocks after street blocks of vacant homes and old industrial warehouses/factories that are ripe for demolition and reconstruction.

      The big bugaboo, from what I understand, is that of EPA cleanup.  In Cuyahoga County, add in the additional cost of corruption and grift and it makes sense why nobody wants to do business up here in Cleveland.

  • avatar

    If the Euro/Dollar exchange rate stays in the range it has been in these last couple of years it makes a whole lot of sense for any European brand to manufacture cars in the US, especially if they sell cars in the US. The problem for (German) premium brands is of course that their premiumness might be questionned when they’re no longer produced in Germany and sometimes rightly so (I’m looking at you, first gen Mercedes ML). If they can overcome that problem though there’s a lot of cash to be saved.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Regarding Audi and any possiblity of setting up operations in the lamentable state of Michigan:  Borrowing the words of my favorite president, Audi is ‘not gonna do it.’  That dog, as they say, don’t hunt.

    For the incognizant….VW spend some serious coinage to move their NAHQ OUT of Auburn Heights, Michigan not long ago….it was one of the (almost) too numerous to count business relationships and negotiations which were bungled, mismanaged, destroyed…. pick your verb… by the Jenny Granholm administration in Michigan….this clueless wench set the Michigan business climate back 80 years.   

  • avatar

    Not sure how this could work out.  The new Jetta is larger but cheaper (price and materials) than hitherto.  Is it still made in Mexico?  Next years’ “American” Passat will be both larger and cheaper dollar-wise (and certainly less attractive) than the current iteration.  Whether it too will have a “cheap” feel I haven’t heard.

    I’ve read that the German auto workers average $100.00 and hour, whereas the Americans will work for 15 dollars.  Surely that’s more than the Mexicans, but maybe paying off the drug lords down south has to be factored into the equation.

    Whatever they do, they should keep the current VW stylists away.  Whatever could VW be thinking with their new designs?

  • avatar

    I’ve read that the German auto workers average $100.00 and hour, whereas the Americans will work for 15 dollars.
    Somehow VW/Audi managed to make less reliable products with workers who are paid more.
    Mexican made Jettas are no less reliable than German made Passats .

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