Audi to decide next year on resuming production in Brazil

Article by Anita Panait, on December 14, 2012

Audi will determine in 2013 whether to resume building vehicles in Brazil, after German rival BMW announced a plan for a new site in the country and following reports that Japanese brands Acura and Infiniti are headed to the nation. Head of Audi's Brazilian division, Leandro Radomile, disclosed that they are in the project's initial phase, “without anything defined."

Radomile said that the easiest option to Audi’s output resumption in Brazil would be to adapt one of parent Volkswagen's local assembly lines. From 2000 to 2006, Audi built its A3 hatchback at a VW site in Parana, Brazil. The Brazilian government muddled carmakers’ plans this year by increasing a tax on foreign-made cars and limiting imports from Mexico, where Audi is constructing a new plant. Audi intended to sell around 5,700 cars in Brazil in 2012, but new regulations for the auto industry in the country only allow it to import 4,800 vehicles without facing a 30 percentage-point tax increase.

Despite the increase in taxes, the Brazilian car market, regarded as the fourth largest in the world, continues to post strong growth while other markets like Europe and the United States experienced declines. Luxury car makers have been flocking to Brazil, attracted by the growing number of millionaires in the country. Honda said in October 2012 that it intends to sell its Acura brand in Brazil starting in 2015.

Nissan, on the other hand, announced last month that it would begin selling its Infiniti brand in 2014. Jaime Ardila, General Motors Co.'s South American chief told reporters at the Sao Paulo auto show this year that “the rich are becoming richer in Brazil,” remarking further that it is time to start thinking about bringing the Cadillac to the country. In October, BMW disclosed it planned to invest EUR200 million ($261 million) to construct a plant in Santa Catarina, Brazil and commence building 30,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2014.

The latest version of Audi A3 features crisp lines and compact dimensions like never before. It remains at 4.66 feet tall and 13.90 feet long like its previous model but its proportions are improved to give it a sportier look. Its car base is increased by 23 mm which is now at 8.53 feet. The front overhang is also decreased by 12 mm which is now at 5.83 feet.

This new model’s design language represents Audi’s passion in producing the best automobiles. Its most defining features include the six-corner single-frame radiator grille which is made very sculptural and is complemented with an engine hood that continues its well-contoured lines. Its front is also equipped with large air intakes that reflect the engine’s power. It features as well flat headlights that incorporate a lower edge that is wave-shaped.

A choice of Xenon plus units is also available with LED bands that outline a set of daytime running lights which make A3 distinct even during nighttime. It also highlights Audi’s trademark – a fine delineated tornado line in the side of the car’s body which gives form to the spaces below the car window. This line mounts sharply upward all the way to the side sills.

Its metal surfaces which are dynamically flared are combined with outsized wheel arches to give the Audi A3 a powerful new look. It is also made sporty as a coupe with its slender C-pillars with low angles and a roof that arcs back to its stark spoiler.

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Topics: audi, brazil, production

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