In the upcoming years, Audi will execute its expansion plan in China to reach a production rate of 700,000 vehicles annually. Starting in 2013, a new plant in the southern city of Foshan will build the A3 compact. In a statement last Thursday, Audi said that that around 3 billion euros ($4 billion) will be invested by the FAW-VW joint venture for the production and distribution of the Audi brand in China over the next five years.
Audi has a stake in the FAW-VW joint venture together with Volkswagen and the Chinese partner FAW. A company spokeswoman said that the brand could currently build around 300,000 vehicles in Changchun, where Audi A4, A6 and Q5 models are assembled. Audi predicts that its sales (including imported models such as the A8 saloon) would reach a record-breaking 300,000 vehicles this year.
Audi said that the new plant in Foshan, in the southern province of Guangdong, could produce about 150,000 to 200,000 cars starting in 2013, contributing to output from the plant in Changchun which will be increased to as high as 550,000 cars.
Audi added that this new plant will have about 4,000 workers and will make a "new member" of the A3 compact line, the No. 3 model in terms of sales. Sales in China of premium cars have surged with the increasing wealth standards and the exceedingly assertive middle class. This makes China the most significant growth market for Audi as well as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
The latest Audi A3 is characterized by concise lines and a compact size. It measures 4,237 mm long and 1,421 mm high, making it comparably equal to its predecessor. While the dimensions have not changed, the proportions you see here are decidedly sportier. The wheelbase was extended by 23 mm and now measures 2,601 mm. The width is also increased by 12 mm and the front overhang is made even shorter.
Audi A3's design is a testament to the German carmaker’s passion in manufacturing cars. The delineating element is the six-cornered single-frame grille up front. The hood has lines that start from this frame while big front air intakes hint at the engine’s power.
You also get flat headlights that have a wave-like lower edge. You can opt to get xenon plus head lamps, while the LED lights that serve as the daytime running lights give the A3 a distinct lighting trademark.
Viewed from the side, you should immediately notice the clear tornado line, which is a signature Audi design element. It makes the area beneath the windows look more structured. This line rises upward as it reaches the side sills.
Big wheel arches that have flared surfaces give the car a more powerful look while the thinner C-pillars have low angles that complement the back slanting roof that ends at the spoiler to give it a sporty appearance like what you see in a coupe.
Rear styling makes the wider car of this compact car even more obvious. The split taillamps show a different design from the front headlights. Meanwhile, the trunk lid is sculpted and has that 3-D look that most people like. Depending on the type of engine you are going to choose, the A3 can accommodate two tailpipes in the diffuser insert.
Further, there are 13 colors to choose from. You can also choose to order a high gloss package that makes the design elements shine, or get the S line exterior package for more distinctive design elements that a sports-minded driver would love.