Audi will halt production of the A3 at its main plant in Ingolstadt, Germany, next month because of slow demand.
The Audi A3 TDI was recently named the 2010 Green Car of the Year at last year’s Los Angels Auto Show by a panel of distinguished car journalist and car enthusiast. The award was presented to Audi’s U.S. chief Johan de Nysschen at a ceremony in LA.
“We will look back at 2009 as a turning point for American understanding of the advantages provided by Audi TDI clean diesel technology, in terms of reduced fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” de Nysschen recently said.
The one week work suspension suspension is planned from Feb. 15 to Feb. 19, Antje Bauer, a spokeswoman, said in Ingolstadt, Germany, and will effect 4500 workers who will have to drop their shifts.
“Demand is shrinking following the expiration of government incentives and because the A3 as a model is aging,” Bauer added. “We’re confident we won’t need to extend the production pause beyond that week.”
According to Bloomberg.com:
“Audi, which has a goal of dethroning Bayerische Motoren Werke AG as the world’s largest luxury automaker by 2015, remains “on course” toward boosting sales to 1 million cars and sport-utility vehicles this year from 950,000 deliveries in 2009, Bauer said, citing extra shifts for the A4 and A5 models at Audi’s plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany.”
Audi is owned by Volkswagen AG and builds and sells premium cars. The production line suspension was reported by Ingolstadt-based newspaper Donaukurier.
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Editor’s Note: Jeff Kuhlman, the Chief Communications Officer for Audi, sent me this email as a response to the story above. Please note that I welcome all commentsto my reporting.
“I was disappointed when I read your story online this morning (“Production of 2010 North American Green Car of the Year suspended due to slow demand” at aerochug.com). The headline, in particular, leads readers to believe that demand for the car is slow in the U.S., which is not the case at all. In fact, the A3, and especially the TDI model, are running less than a 50 day supply. The real issue is that demand in Europe has dropped due to the end of Germany’s version of “cash for clunkers”. While we would like to get more A3 vehicles here … again, especially the Green Car of the Year model … the volume in the U.S. alone is not sufficient volume necessary to keep the plant open. The bottom line: the A3 is doing well here in the U.S., especially the TDI model, and the plant closing is an issue of market conditions and practices in Germany. “