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Audi’s New Plant for the A1?


 

 

Audi will re-enter the subcompact market with a new A1, according to European reports. The new vehicle will likely be built in the Belgian plant that Audi will take over from Volkswagen.

Audi had previously fielded the A2 compact, which was taken out of production when sales fell short of projections.

 

Last fall, rumors surfaced that VW would close the Belgium plant, and employees went on strike. Shortly after, VW announced it would stop production of the Golf in Belgium , but that there were no intentions to close the plant.

 

Now, with the acknowledgement that Audi will take over the plant, it seems likely that the A1 will be built there, though Audi has not even confirmed it’s working on a new small car. The A1 is expected to go into production in 2009 and will compete with the BMW 1-Series, the Mini, the Mercedes A-Class, and the Volvo C30. The underpinnings will likely be shared with the new VW Polo. The next largest Audi, the A3, will continue to be derived from the VW Golf.

 

The arrival of a new small Audi is in line with the company’s plans to expand its business and to overtake BMW and Mercedes-Benz to become Germany ’s number-one premium car manufacturer. Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler hopes to build production from 890,000 units now to 1.5 million cars in 2015. Of that amount 250,000 cars would be sold China alone.

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