Audi well prepared for China International Import Expo
By CGTN's Xi Jia
As one of the German brands that attend the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), Audi is getting well prepared by bringing the new e-tron electric car into the Chinese market.
Over the past 30 years, Audi is one of the longest serving car manufacturers in China. Last year, Audi sold 600,000 units in China, and the Chinese market has become much more important than ever before.
"I think we are looking forward to having a chance to show to the Chinese government, but also other customers, our range of Audi premium cars, and make our contribution," said Thomas Owsianski, the president of Audi China. "We have done also a little bit, hopefully with our Audi growth to the growth of China, to the number-one and number-two economies in the world, in the number-one market. I think it's a bit of symbiotic relationship, and a great opportunity for a brand like Audi."
Like most of the international car manufactures, Audi's next strategy is the electric car. The newly released e-tron series is developed and produced in Brussels, where Audi has its first production site for premium cars that are entirely CO2-neutral. Audi will double the size of Beijing's R&D team and establish a new test center in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province of China.
"Not only on the product side itself, but also on our capabilities in China, and also making China, in many areas, either one of the leading markets of the world, or even in some areas we are making actually China the benchmark for the world," said Owsianski.
"Because in some areas, actually, China is now setting the trend for the world. So, instead of the old-fashioned setting, they would bring it to Europe from China and make some adaption. Actually, I think the new way of thinking is to say in certain, not all but in certain areas such as digitization, etc. we are actually saying ‘well, let's develop in China, and then bring it to the world."
To some extent, many car manufacturers are designing cars according to the preferences of the Chinese market. Thomas said that some areas such as digitization, Chinese develops much faster than other countries. Chinese customers are seeking faster products, which is becoming the benchmark of foreign manufactures. This changes the past way of using the European benchmark for the world market.
"We had yesterday a three-hour design review of all the products that are coming to China. It took three hours because we have so many products. And I would say I was so amazed at what we have coming. And having been to China before and knowing also I think a little bit of the Chinese customer, I really felt that we understood what the Chinese customers want," said Owsianski.