German Automaker Sold More Than 400,000 Units In China Last Year
Having recently opened a dedicated R&D center in Beijing’s 751 D-Park — a hotspot for design and fashion firms – German automaker Audi hopes to widen its appeal in China this year via aggressive product customization. Though Audi sales in China remain high, with the automaker moving more than 400,000 units there last year, Beijing’s current directives to reduce official spending and opt for lower-end automakers have spurred the Audi marketing team to cut a different path this year.
As part of this effort, the brand will — as global design director Wolfgang Egger told Chinese media this week — actively hire more local Chinese designers to localize models for the Chinese market.
As Netease (Chinese) writes this week, Egger said at the Geneva Motor Show that the new R&D center in Beijing (the brand’s third worldwide) is mainly geared towards altering the exteriors, interiors and components of existing Audi models to meet the demands of local consumers. To do this, Egger said the automaker is recruiting young local designers and increasing its market research efforts to better understand what it is that will entice a Chinese buyer to opt for an Audi over another brand. (Or vice-versa.)
As Egger added (translation by Jing Daily team):
Since entering the China market, we have localized our products. First, we provided long-wheelbase models to the China market, such as the A4L and A6L. In addition, we found that Chinese consumers prefer chrome trimmings, such as chrome grilles, so we added those for China but not for Europe. Other changes include the chrome body trim seen on the Audi A6 as well as a special features on the rear of the car, including chromium plating on the exhaust pipe.
Through our new design center, we have an opportunity to develop a more in-depth understanding of the Chinese consumer psychology, and become more familiar with what they prioritize.