Audi is expecting a new sedan version of its A3 compact car to outsell the other variants -- hatchback and convertible – thereby helping it inch closer on BMW in global luxury car sales. Audi spokesman Josef Schlossmacher remarked that they expect that every second A3 customer to choose the sedan in the future.
Audi is commencing the production of the A3 sedan at its Gyor site in Hungary. Audi is targeting the A3 sedan mainly towards customers in the United States and China, where sedans are in demand more than in Europe.
Audi will roll out the A3 sedan in Europe in the third quarter of 2013, with a base price of about EUR25,000 ($32,150) in Germany. The carmaker will start selling the A3 sedan in the US early 2014 and in China at the end of this year. Audi is planning to open a plant in Foshan, China, later this year to build the A3 sedan for the local Chinese market.
Audi has poured in over EUR900 million ($1.2 billion) to expand the Gyor site, which is considered as one of the largest engine manufacturing plants in the world. The site also builds the TT sports car and the A3 convertible. The expansion will allow Audi to triple the site’s annual car production to 125,000 vehicles.
Audi’s profit plays a vital role in financing a strategy by parent Volkswagen Group to surpass world sales leaders Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. as the biggest carmaker in the world by 2018. Audi accounted for 56 percent of the group's operating profit in the first profit of 2013. VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn vowed in April 2013 to increase its presence in the luxury car segment.