In China’s highly competitive luxury auto market, Audi is going to be in for an “old-fashioned slug-it-out fight,” according to international correspondent Hans Nichols in a Bloomberg video interview today. In the high-stakes competition with Mercedes and BMW for the attention of wealthy Chinese consumers, the company is unveiling a new game plan. Audi intends to introduce 17 new or revamped models worldwide in 2014, targeting over 500,000 sales this year, and $22 billion will be spent in the next five years on development.
This came as Audi reported revenue growth of 2.3 percent to $69.1 billion in 2013, despite challenges with the Chinese yuan, where swings in the currency are causing a big impact on revenue for all major luxury carmakers. As Nichols quotes from a Bloomberg interview about five months ago with Audi chairman Rupert Stadler, “The best hedge against currency fluctuation is going local.”
As Nichols puts it, “It is a fierce, intense competition to see who can be number one in the luxury maker [industry].”
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