INGOLSTADT, GERMANY – A number of European carmakers are considering starting production in the United States to take advantage of the low dollar and to improve production and logistic efficiencies of popular import models in North America. Volkswagen recently announced plans to build a $1 billion factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., and now the carmaker’s CEO Martin Winterkorn has revealed that its Audi subsidiary could also use the site for production of some of its models, according to www.motorauthority.com.
Audi has set itself a goal of building 1.5 million vehicles per year by 2015 and to produce at that level the carmaker will need to expand its current capacity. Speaking with Automotive News, Winterkorn explained that Audi needs to build vehicles in the United States if it is to reach its goal.
The most likely vehicles Audi will build in Tennessee would be the Q5 and Q7 SUVs, and their respective hybrid variants, the company said. Also, a majority of the American-made vehicles need to be sold locally. A similar policy will apply to VW’s new mid-sized car, which Winterkorn confirmed would only be sold in North America.
The final decision for Audi’s U.S. production plans is expected to be made next year.