Audi cars: localization of assembly plants and production features
The phrase “German quality” while choosing any product at the market or in a store has always been a special argument in favor of favorability of purchase, especially when it is characterized by expensive products, in particular, vehicles and equipment. For every car owner for many years the car with the cherished four rings under Audi brand is an indisputable example of reliability and quality. The majority of drivers and potential car buyers are sure: the country of Audi manufacturer and the place of assembly are absolutely identical concepts, which is originally a false statement. This article discusses where to assemble the Audi, focusing on the model range and popular instances of the manufacturer, whether German cars can be assembled in the Russian Federation and how significant the influence of this fact on the reliability, quality parameters and performance characteristics of cars.
A little bit of history
At the present time, as well as throughout a long period of Audi’s existence, its products were considered to be first-class, reliable and worthy of consumer attention. The entire range of cars under this brand belongs to the premium category, characterized by perfection, both technologically and from a design point of view. The history of the company’s existence is more than a hundred years, during this time the company has gone through many transformations and changes, improved and grew, and today it is one of the leading and competitive corporations, leading in the automotive industry. For the first time the world had heard about the brand Audi back in 1910: after the company was renamed several times due to legal and social nuances of the time, returning its name only in 1965. Today the company is successfully functioning within the Volkswagen-Audi concern, gaining more and more market segments and positive ambitions of consumers, despite the not democratic price of its cars.
The scale of production of cars under the brand Audi is truly global: vehicles of the concern are delivered almost all over the world, which makes you wonder if a few plants in Germany can cope with such volumes of work? Certainly not: the branches of concern have a global geography, which predetermines the need to clarify before investing money in an expensive car, whose assembly of a certain model, as this indicator may predetermine the quality of products and its operational resources.
Location of Audi branches
In the technical documentation for Audi vehicles the country of manufacturer is specified as Germany, however, the manufacturer of the products does not always have a German location. Branches of the concern are located almost on all continents, which allows the company to actively supply products to all countries, to cope with the global scale of production, while developing new instances, strengthening its position in the market. With regard to production, all significant, predetermining the functionality of the vehicle units are made mainly in German plants. Branches in most cases are engaged in assembly work, which minimizes the factor of non-compliance of goods with the world brand. The location of the assembly plants of the Audi concern is predetermined by their following geography:
- Germany, as Audi’s manufacturing country, has more than two dozen plants for the production of vehicles, as well as centers directly involved in design and engineering issues.
- In the U.S. there is the largest complex on the scale and production trends, where almost all modifications of Audi are assembled, providing one hundred percent of production in North American regions.
- Production departments in Brazil – five branches engaged in large-scale assembly, as well as plants in Argentina and Mexico, where certain Audi models are assembled, provide products for the Latin American car markets.
- Production of models for African countries is carried out at a plant in South Africa.
- Asian consumers have the opportunity to buy vehicles under the Audi brand on domestic car markets, completed at factories in India and Malaysia, with large parts made in China.
- To European countries, except for cars with absolute German pedigree Audi models produced in Slovakia and Belgium can be supplied.
- The Russian plant in Kaluga is engaged in large-scale assembly of some car models supplied to domestic markets.
Let’s try to answer the actual questions of domestic consumers, what models of Audi are assembled in Russia, who makes cars for the Russian market which are not made in Kaluga, let’s analyze how the fact of domestic intervention in the car’s configuration is reflected in quality and operational features of products.
Guarantees from the manufacturer, or the dependence of reliability from the location of the assembly plant
The German manufacturer for many years of its existence in the market, is characterized as a responsible and reliable supplier of vehicles. In spite of the fact that Audi plant branches are scattered around the world, the Germans treat meticulously manufacturing products at absolutely all plants and human factor in the quality of products is minimized. At each enterprise of concern, no matter what country it is, modern, upgraded equipment for production, corresponding to the world standards is installed, and each car, supplied for sale, passes strictest technological control. Even at the branches in African and some Asian countries, where it would be much cheaper to use human labor, the German manufacturer refuses such a solution, preferring, despite the significant financial costs, the production of suitable, reliable and technologically perfect products.
There were precedents when the concern refused to produce certain models in favor of supplying quality goods if there were complaints from technologists about the quality of the produced cars. For example, the Audi Q5 and Q7 were withdrawn from production in Russia due to a decrease in demand due to the lack of quality of the assembled vehicles. The statistics and users’ feedback indicate that the quality does not suffer from the branch that directly manufactured the Audi and where the car was assembled, however, exceptions to the rules have been recorded. This fact makes potential buyers when choosing a vehicle, especially of the premium category from the range of Audi concern, to understand where this or that model is assembled.
Pedigree of Audi cars for domestic market
Just a while ago, when the plant in Kaluga was opened and started to function, the leadership of the concern was planning a mass production of Audi products in Russia, which would almost hundred percent meet the needs of domestic buyers, and not only. But those plans were changed because of the poor quality of some models: popular models from the “Ku” range, versions 5 and 7, did not meet consumers’ expectations and therefore their production in Russia has been discontinued. Currently, for Russia, the model Audi Q5 comes directly from Germany, and the production of crossovers Q7 is engaged only in a factory in Slovakia. As for the compact, popular model Q3, the quality of its production has no complaints from consumers, they are assembled exclusively in Spain, where the production was established in 2011, equipped with workshops and organized at the highest level of manufacturing according to modern technological requirements.
The plant in Russia currently assembles sedans of the sixth and eighth versions of the A line that are popular with domestic customers. About the quality of the assembled cars at the Kaluga plant Audi A6 not very pleasant rumor, however, potential buyers should not immediately refuse to buy this model. In parallel the Russian market is receiving these versions from Europe, which allows making the purchase “without risk”, but the cost of imported cars will be significantly higher. The manufacturers explain such discrepancy in prices not by quality indicators, but by increased costs for transportation of cars.
In Russia there are a lot of discussions among consumers about where to build an Audi A4, which is interesting to buy for “ordinary” people who have money, as well as for premium customers. The fact is that back in 2013 it was planned to start large-scale assembly of these models at the plant in Kaluga. These plans never became a reality, although initially the German manufacturers gave the official “permission” to manufacture the A4 in Russia. Delivery of this model to the domestic market is set up directly from Germany, despite the fact that its assembly is also carried out in other branches, scattered across the continents. Not so clear is the answer to the question of where to assemble the Audi A3 for Russia: the cars of this version are made in Germany and Belgium, as well as in China, which requires checking the pedigree of the model before purchase.
High-tech, advanced, modern, innovative and reliable – these are all characteristics of vehicles under the Audi brand, which are for many the subject of dreams, a legend in the field of automotive engineering. Large-scale production of Audi vehicles is established both in Germany, where the central production facilities are located, and worldwide. The manufacturer gives official guarantees for all the goods on sale, assuring the consumer that the location of the assembly plant does not affect the quality and performance of products. If you nevertheless do not want to become an owner of African or Chinese Audi, don’t be lazy to learn the history of your preferred model before buying the goods, check the route of the specific car in the documentation of dealer company or search the car with VIN, if you buy it at the secondary market.
Audi factories where cars are assembled for Russian market
Author: Alexander Petrov 04.10.2020 Time of reading: 4 minutes 40,884 views No comments yet
When buying a car, the driver is interested in its technical characteristics : speed, engine fuel consumption.
Some are interested in how many seats the car will hold, others in what it will look like.
And only a small part will be interested in the localization of the car assembly, that is the location of the factory where it was assembled.
Where Audi is assembled for the Russian market
Globalization has done its work: the country of assembly and the geography of the assembly workshops are gradually losing their meaning. In addition, almost nowhere in the world there is such a phenomenon as the complete production of a vehicle in one plant. Parts production has too much specificity, so components are manufactured in different places, and then assembled together. Therefore, by default, the localization of the assembly by default means the place where the car was assembled on the assembly line, because after that there is testing, verification and first startup.
The brand is loved and respected in Russia. The car is considered a prestigious and elegant vehicle, although its popularity is inferior to rivals BMW and Mercedes. Cars for the Russian market come from different corners of the globe, as much depends on the model and modification.
Audi representatives have repeatedly stated that it does not make much sense to look for information about the geography of car assembly, because all of the components and final products go through the stage of acceptance, where quality control is guaranteed. In other words, due to the developed regulations, a car made in China or Hungary will not differ from one assembled in Germany or Russia.
However, users have their own opinion: many are sure that the German assembly is better than the Russian one, and they are even ready to pay a certain amount of money for the information on the bar codes of the components.
Audi assembly in Russia
The production of cars with four rings became possible due to the same unification and globalization. After all, Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group, which has its own plant in Kaluga.
Since 2009, a large-scale assembly of such models as
- A4, A5 sedan lines, and later the A6 and A8
- Q5 and Q7 crossovers.
Also in certain quantities sometimes produced sports coupe TT and budget cars Audi A1, convertibles based on common platforms.
Unfortunately, the plant in Kaluga did not become strategic for the German company. The assembly, which is sometimes called “billet assembly”, took place with minimal involvement of technological capacities. In fact, it was a process of assembling ready-made machine sets, which were delivered to the plant from abroad. In addition, the Russian assembly did not give any special price advantage to future owners.
However, the production of Audi in Russia was nevertheless expanding the geography of the brand and creating new jobs.
The company’s management periodically made decisions to cease and resume production of specific models. First, this happened in 2010. Later in 2015. At the time of the last statements, only the A6 and A8 sedans, as well as the small Audi Q7 series, were assembled in Kaluga. Executive sedans have long existed on the basis of government procurement, but today they have exhausted themselves as well. Today the factories are functioning, producing more common products in the form of various models of Volkswagen and Skoda.
The description of Audi factories and the list of produced models
Today, the automotive industry is one of the most globalized. All the brands we know are in the hands of just a few car companies. However, this situation allows producing Audi in different parts of the globe, adapting to the needs of the consumer market.
Ingolstadt plant (Germany)
Although it is not “native” to the company (production and representative office were moved here only after the Second World War), but this Bavarian city serves as the head and father of all other plants. Here is the headquarters and the museum of the brand, and many of the latest developments come from the design labs directly to the conveyor belts.
The most mass automobiles of the company – A3, A4, A5 sedans and Q3 crossovers – are constantly assembled in Ingolstadt. The bodies of TT series cars – coupes and roadsters – are also made and painted here.
Plant in Neckarsulm (Germany)
For a while this was the main plant, after which the headquarters moved to Ingolstadt. The A8 premium sedans are produced here, as well as the sporty S and RS versions with more powerful engines. It is in Neckarsulm division of Audi Sport Gmbh, which used to be called Quattro Gmbh and was responsible for the production of rally and racing cars.
Also the A4 and A6 cabriolet versions came off the assembly line.
Plant in Brussels (Belgium)
Audi’s Belgian capacity allows it to maintain interest in the model in developed European countries. Europeans love comfort but are used to counting the money on fuel, so the first model released in Brussels in 2010 was the economical Audi A1 compact car. Today the plant is fully prepared to assemble promising electric crossovers E-Tron.
Plant in Martorela (Spain)
The plant built in the Spanish town of Martorel was previously owned by Seat, producing cars of the same name. After the merger with the Volkswagen Group it was decided to assemble Audi cars. Since 2011 the production specializes in the production of a compact luxury crossover Q3. In order to reach the required indicators, body shop and paint shop have been launched, and the amount of investments crossed the mark of 330 million euros. The Spanish authorities thanked the management of the concern, including for the creation of new jobs and infrastructure.
The plant manufactures more than one hundred thousand automobiles a year.
Plant in Changchun, China
The Chinese consumer market can no longer be dismissed as it was 20 to 30 years ago. Today, the Chinese have grown stronger and richer, and have begun to increase their purchases of cars in the premium segment at a serious pace. The growth in sales in China of Volkswagen vehicles has prompted Audi to set up its own assembly site. It opened in Changchun in 2018. The assembly line is equipped with 510 industrial robotic machines. Thanks to low land lease costs and cheap production rates, the firm benefits greatly, and the Chinese get new Q-family crossovers.
Factory in Győr (Hungary)
This plant on the Danube is one of the oldest plants opened by the concern outside of Germany. For more than 20 years this production gives the world compact sedans, as well as the famous TT coupes and roadsters. In Gyor there is a complete technological chain, including body production and painting.
Engines are also assembled here – more than 1.5 million per year.
Plant in Bratislava (Slovakia)
Large assembly of powerful full-size crossovers Q7 is carried out in the capital of Slovakia. Car kits for these cars are assembled in Germany and Hungary, and then go to Bratislava.
Plant in Aurangabad (India)
The Indian car market is also an impressive niche. To fill it, back in 206, began work Indian plant Audi in Maharashtra state. The most popular brands roll off the assembly line – A4 and A6, the production of which amounts to 11 and 2 thousand respectively.