In January 2001, AUDI AG signed a joint venture agreement with Astre German Automotive Pty Ltd to create Audi Australia Pty Ltd. Audi Australia is the sole importer and distributor of Audi vehicles in Australia. The premium Audi marque is manufactured by AUDI AG, based in Ingolstadt, Germany. Audi also has state-of-the-art factories in Neckarsulm, Germany and Gyor, Hungary, as well as assembly operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Poland and Brazil.
Audi has a proud history in the world automotive industry. Audi vehicles began arriving in Australia in the 1960s but in earlier years, there was an assortment of DKW, Horch and Wanderer cars representing Audi’s pioneering heritage.
The Audi logo of four interlinked rings symbolises the roots of the company – the marques of Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. They, along with the AUTO UNION and NSU significantly determined the course of automobile development.
From the very early days of motoring, Audi has established a series of industry “firsts”:
In fact, it was Audi that produced the first German luxury car with front-wheel drive;
In 1975, Audi was the first manufacturer to use hydraulic engine mounts — now the industry standard — to reduce harshness and vibration for the vehicle’s occupants;
A year later, Audi pioneered the use of a five-cylinder engine;
In 1980, Audi produced the world’s first passenger car with four-wheel drive and turbocharging — the Audi quattro;
In 1982, the Audi 100 — the predecessor of today’s gorgeous Audi A6 model — achieved the lowest drag co-efficient of any production car, setting a new direction in vehicle styling;
At the same time, Audi introduced flush glass — a concept widely used throughout the industry today as cars become increasingly streamlined.
Other breakthroughs for which Audi is famous include:
- the fully galvanised body
- aluminium space frame technology
- its leadership in active and passive safety
- five-valve engine technology
In 1999, AUDI AG celebrated 100 years of automobile history. In Australia as in Europe, Audi is very proud of its heritage and its bright future. Investments Audi is making now ensure that the company will continue to be an industry front runner in the future.
It is clear that Audi is gaining ground in both Europe and Australia. The company is confident that Audi in Australia has the product range and technological superiority to achieve the long term goal of market leadership among the European prestige and luxury marques.
Audi now boasts the youngest product line up of any European prestige vehicle and is certainly the fastest-growing and most aggressive marque in terms of sales growth and integrated marketing campaigns.
Pioneer technology such as Audi’s unique “quattro” all-wheel drive concept is another feature which sets Audi apart from its more convential European rivals, so much so that the superior active safety and handling attributes of the revolutionary quattro technology became the focus of an educative campaign launched by Audi in 1998 and continued successfully throughout 1999.
In addition to targetted campaigns such as the quattro experience, Audi is also in the process of revisiting its entire dealer network and has been making several key new appointments around the country.
Audi has also launched several value-added services for consumers including “AudiAlliance“, a two-level, three-year customer loyalty program combining AudiCare, Audi’s 24-hour roadside assistance service with special offers for members on hotel rack rates, vehicle drive days, cultural and sporting activities.
Audi Financial Services, Audi’s own branded finance is another aspect now available to potential purchasers. Over 60 percent of prestige buyers use finance to purchase their vehicles and Audi is able to offer special rates via its own branded finance.
AudiCorporate has been introduced to provide services for companies with five or more luxury vehicles, and Audi Guaranteed Buyback, a product designed to reassure customers of resale values with the imminent introduction of a wholesale Goods and Services Tax in Australia. Audi’s own branded-insurance is also a new service available to customers.
The marque also features its own range of local and European gifts and gadgets for the Audi owner who has everything – or simply wants high-quality, beautifully-designed lifestyle accessories from watches, to bicycles and leathergoods.