Audi will make a decision on whether to establish a U.S. manufacturing plant before the end of 2015, according to Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America Inc. He added that Audi's U.S. sales are predicted to go beyond 150,000 units by the second half of the decade, justifying the need to produce vehicles in the U.S.
In a webcast on Audi's 2010 U.S. performance, de Nysschen said that the company has to first have enough volume so that it can earn the right to set up a manufacturing plant in the U.S.
He explained that there has to be a “critical mass” to justify the investment, says Autonews.
However, de Nysschen declined to say if Audi would construct a factory or share the VW brand's new plant in Chattanooga, which is where the all-new Passat designed for the U.S. is produced. De Nysschen predicts that Audi will sell 114,000 vehicles in the U.S. this year, compared to 101,629 in 2010.
He said that sales will be boosted by the demand for the new-generation A8 flagship sedan launched late last year, the all-new A7 coupe and the redesigned A6 due later this year. By mid-decade, Audi is expected to reach 130,000 to 140,000 in U.S. sales.
But because of high worldwide demand, Audi's growth in 2011 will be hampered by limited supplies. Automotive New Data Center said that on March 1, Audi had a 28 day-supply.