Auto Round-up: Audi Soaring and Ford's International Investment
In today's auto round-up, Audi is basking in the glow of a 22% increase in global sales, translating into roughly 110,400 cars, fueled by strong demand for its A5, Q5 and A4 models, notably in China.
This bodes well for the German automaker who has their eyes on rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz to become the top dog in the premium car market.
The strategy behind the lead pole position is for Audi to tap into the busting-at-the-seams Chinese market as well as in the U.S. While the strategy is working in China, but not in the U.S. It might be a tall task as both Audi's rivals are also expecting demand in China and the U.S. to drive the industry's recovery after a gloomy 2009.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Audi sold 19,543 cars in China and Hong Kong last month, up 65% compared with the same month last year. That compares to BMW's near doubling in sales to 12,662 and a 57% rise for Mercedes-Benz to 8,500 vehicles. Audi sold 51,449 cars in China in the first quarter compared with 34,179 for BMW and 24,100 for Mercedes.
Over at Ford, the company announced that it plans to invest $250 million in Argentina to produce an all-new vehicle not currently made in any part of the world.
The investment, which is to be made between 2010 and 2012, will fund quality upgrades and improvements at the Ford Pacheco Plant in Argentina, which will manufacture this vehicle for Ford's Latin American markets.