Foreign automaker next to make move to the U.S.
Audi is reportedly planning to build a manufacturing plant in the U.S. by 2015.
While no site has been selected for the plant, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has allegedly said that a decision on the plant will be made in the next three years.
"It is totally clear that we need new production capacity in the U.S.," Stadler told Automation News. "The question only is when. Our dealers currently ask for more cars than we can deliver. Our delivery times are still too high."
Audi looks to increase its U.S. sales by up to 20% this year, but longer lead times to get cars into the U.S. will hamper future sales growth. Audi is following the strategy set by its parent company, Volkswagen AG, which just opened a $1 billion manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. that is expected to generate 2,000 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs while increasing Volkswagen’s U.S. market share.
Other foreign-owned automakers who have built plants in the past decade in the U.S. include Mercedes Benz, BMW, Kia, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and Nissan. All have located in the mid-South to the deep South, driving a new wave of auto manufacturing to the U.S.
– Edited by Bob Vavra and Amanda McLeman, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com