The recent slide of the euro against the dollar has led to Audi's decision to put on hold a plan to shift manufacturing to the US. Unlike Volkswagen, Audi isn't prepared to develop a car primarily for the US. But despite this change in its pan, Audi of America's target to double sales by 2018 is unchanged.
On the sidelines of the presentation of the redesigned A1 small car, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said that the company doesn't require a US plant to achieve its plan to "produce 1.5 million cars a year in 2015 at the latest." He revealed that no decisions have been made beyond 2015.
In 2009, Audi's global production dropped by 10% to 924,000 units. Product development chief, Michael Dick, said that US production "doesn't pay off at the current dollar exchange rate."
If Audi has a change of mind, it can actually share a new plant that its parent, Volkswagen AG, is currently building in Chattanooga, Tenn. Stadler said that if the available capacity is used, the company could launch production in the US in six months. He explained that constructing a greenfield plant takes three years.
Last April, Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen told Automotive News that an Audi model can't be easily built on the VW assembly line. He clarified that the line can't be shared and that VW requires the volume for itself.
Besides, Audi and VW don't share the same vehicle architecture anymore since Audi mounts engines longitudinally and VW transversely. Nevertheless, De Nysschen said that VW designed the Chattanooga plant for a mirror-image expansion and could share the paint shop.