Although no concrete plans are in place as yet, it appears that Audi is keen on building cars in South Africa once again.
The Head of Audi South Africa, Trevor Hill, said local production of an Audi model was something that he’d love to do, but that it would have to be a global decision and currently no firm plans are in place.
“If global demand picks up, then maybe we can talk about it but such a project is probably five or six years down the track,” he said.
Hill said that Audi had worked on a local production plan about three years ago, but the company was unable to make a positive business case for the move. However, Hill is planning to rehash the proposal and “investigate certain scenarios”.
Production capacity at the local production plant in Uitenhage would not be a problem, Hill said, but to make the sums add up there would have to be sufficient demand among export markets as the local market would not support sufficient volume to make production feasible.
But which model would Audi produce in South Africa? Although Hill did not name any specific cars, a future-generation Audi A1 is a possible candidate in our book, given that it will share its underpinnings with the locally-produced Polo.
VWSA currently produces the Polo and Polo Vivo hatchbacks in South Africa, and is busy gearing up to build the new-generation Polo, which is due to go on sale early next year.
The last Audi produced locally was the first-generation A4, which was built until April 2000, after which Audi decided to import the second-generation model. – IOL Motoring