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Audi Factory in China.

PNH80 Aug 11, 2008

  1. PNH80

    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    Maybe i'm being naive and sticking my head in the sand but i never knew that Audi had a factory in Changchun in China until recently. The A6, A4, A3 cab, TT, TT-S and TT-RS are or will all be made there.
    Audi have also announced they're stepping up production in China and moving more models over there.

    This doesn't only apply to Audi though. BMW produce 44,000 cars a year at it's China factory and are opening a second exclusively for the 1 series.

    Don't get me wrong, i understand why companies move production to more economically viable territories but this doesn't sit too well with me.
    I really wouldn't expect to be buying an expensive, premium 'german car' and it be made in China at cut cost. It's the principle more than anything.
    Where will it end? All BMW's and Audi's built in China? At what point does it become iilegal to describe them as a german prestige car anymore?!!

    Rolex wouldn't ever move production to China to cut costs because it stops being a swiss watch and become less desireable. No longer a status symbol. Likewise Armani wouldn't move production of it's mainline suits to China either....Because it would no longer be an 'italian' suit! And yet German prestige cars are knocked out over there and yet they charge ever increasing prices.

    Maybe i'm having a pointless rant and should just accept this is the way production is going but to me it's a shame because the brand image just isn't the same to me anymore after looking into this.

    No doubt a lot of you will disagree with my view on this but i'd be interested to know how many of you would be totally happy to know your Audi was made in China when handing over that £30-£40K cheque.

    Vorsprung Durch Technik indeed.

    Cheers!

    EDIT: Oh and the new A3 will be made out there also. £30k for a Chinese S3 anyone?
     
  2. mitch78

    mitch78 Active Member

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  3. PNH80

    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    The Audi image of quality isn't based on the german engineered roots then? Or 'german' build quality?
    I just don't see how stepping up production in China is going to help build quality. More room for error if you ask me.
     
  4. Amchlolor

    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Last week, I mentioned the fact Alfa Romeo are sending cars to China in kit form, for them to be assembled there.
    Some smartass replied with "that explains a lot"

    Oh, the irony...:rolleyes:
     
  5. Issac Hunt

    Issac Hunt Active Member VCDS Map User

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    Given the rate at which the auto market in China is expanding you can't blame them for moving production over there. Give it a few more years and it could well be their most profitable market.
     
  6. mitch78

    mitch78 Active Member

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  7. PNH80

    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    Well currently Audi maintain that 'most' Audi's made in China are for the Chinese market but are looking into export to Europe next year.

    Q5, Q7, A7, A3, A4, A6, TT and all the respective S and RS models will have 'some' production moved over there. I'm guessing as an over-spill from European factories.

    To be honest it's as much a political thing for me. I pretty much detest the Chinese government (don't agree with the Olympics being there anyway) and i actively try to boycott anything produced in China.

    The TT-S i just ordered will be built in Gyor, Hungary but i will be checking where future models are built before buying.
     
  8. s8craig

    s8craig Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    Juts have a look around your lounge and try picking something up that is not made in China, it's pretty hard to do. Unfortunately the west doesn't have a manufacturing base anymore. Were too expensive and we only want to work a 35 hour week for a million squid.

    It's interesting to find that a 1/3 of the wealth in the UK comes from the square mile in London. WTF does the rest of the country do?

    Plus, China now has all the major money in the world. In this time of the credit crunch, China is well cash rich, as you could clearly see from the £50 million spent on the opening ceremony of the Olympic games alone.

    I dare not say too much, the chinese monitor anything and everything for the slightest notion of being a dissident and I'm not even Chinese.
     
  9. PNH80

    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    Well Rolex produce 1 million+ watches a year. Thats quite high production and i'm sure it's be cheaper to move to China.

    VAG reportedly make 450,000 cars a year in China and their reason for stepping up production is because they've apparently made losses there, so need to regain a foothold.... I expect these savings will be passed onto the customer though....No?
     
  10. PNH80

    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    S8craig, you're bang right. It's almost impossible to avoid buying anyhing Chinese.

    I just think it's sad that a country with such an appauling human and animal rights record (which still goes on) has bullied it's way to holding most of the worlds manufacturing industry now just by getting rid of any environmental regulations.
    The Chinese hold so many trump cards now against the West it's untrue, massive companies like VAG supporting the regime only makes it worse.

    As i said originally, i know i'm having a pointless rant and effectively ******* in the wind but i don't like it!
     
  11. marriedblonde

    marriedblonde Active Member

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    They make a million Rolex's a year? Really? Yet there a 2 year wait for the one I want...

    Regarding the production of Audi's in China aren't there import restraints shipping those cars to Europe anyway? I thought thats why the likes of Honda built factories in the UK... I could well be wrong though... Were they trying to avoid import duties paid on the cars?

    I'm sure Bowfer will be able to clarify.

    J.
     
  12. Amchlolor

    Amchlolor Active Member

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    The thing I really don't understand is the trust these companies are placing in their Chinese counterparts.
    It's a well known fact they will blatantly copy anything they can get a hold of, without any recourse available (no patent laws etc.)
    You'd think they'd try and protect their products, not hand them over so readily.
    It's already happening with the motorbike market.
    It's predicted China will overtake Japan, if you'll excuse the pun.
    Anyone who thinks this is unlikely should remember this is what the British bike/car manufacturers said about Japan.....
     
  13. Amchlolor

    Amchlolor Active Member

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    That's a valid point, and a minefield at the same time.:rolleyes:
    China is a 'third country' so anything imported from there is dutiable.
    In the case of cars, between 5% and 10%, depending on capacity etc.
    However, there are also trading preferences with China that may counteract that.
    There are also rules about the origin of goods, wherein the percentage of materials used and processes involved has a bearing.
    There is certainly more room for the UK government to restrict the import of cars made in China though.

    Do Audi make a big deal about being a 'Green' company?
    Shipping parts to China, only for the completed cars to be shipped over here, from a country where pollution is rife?

    Hmmmm....
     
  14. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut Moderator VCDS Map User

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    This is really a massive subject. If you really want to get into the ins and outs of Chinese policy, laws, poverty, forgery, plagiarism, WTO, imports and exports, car sales etc etc etc we could talk for days.

    In terms build quality though, Audi are hardly likely to just ship all the parts over to a factory full of loads of Chinese farmer and expect them to put the bits together as well as they do in other factories in Europe. I trust Audi to do things properly.

    Chinese car build quality has drastically improved in the last year and a half. Soon Chinese cars will be as common as Jap cars on our roads.
     
  15. JamS3

    JamS3 Active Member

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    I think we are jumping the gun!

    As someone said i'm sure this will just be for the far east market, what will happen to all the factories in Germany, Hungary etc if "most" of production will be moved there???

    Dont think they will be willing to close them down and also risk the longer delivery delays to customers in the UK and even USA for example.

    Seems to me as if its good business sense to have a factory in the far east for the market there.
     
  16. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Food for thought.

    For many years Jap cars have been widely considered as highly reliable, and the Japanese ackowledged as having super efficient manufacturing techniques, processes and systems blah....

    Look at NISSAN UK, it has been churning out reliable Micras etc out of one of the most efficient car plants on the planet.

    This plant is in Sunderland!, which couldnt be much further than Japan if you tried!

    My point is this, IMO is doesnt matter where the car is produced in geographical terms, as long as the plant has set up, ran and managed to that given brands requirements, and all of the processes, including, training, procedure, inspection, culture, and so on, are in compliance with a global standard, then `the car` (whatever brand) should be consistent the world over.
    You could make them on the moon and it would make any difference.


    The political issues are another can of worms....

    my 2p, cheers

    Paul
     
  17. a3norwich

    a3norwich Not anymore - Back 2 BMW (shh)

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    Someone would actually wait 2 years for a watch? The world's gone mad!
     
  18. JamS3

    JamS3 Active Member

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    Having experience of the Sunderland plant, often the major manufacturers put their own staff in to make sure the brand image lives on in the host build country.

    They have done this in Sunderland and I'm sure there will be a few German top bosses with vast experience overseeing things in China.
     
  19. JamS3

    JamS3 Active Member

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    I fail to see how a million Rolex watches are made a year?

    There must be some stockpile somewhere......

    How long have Rolex been going?

    They must have made enough by now for everyone in the world to have at least one!
     
  20. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Absolutely.
     
  21. Iggu

    Iggu Active Member

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    Ha! Very true. My boss cancelled an order for a Rolex when he found out they were no longer hand made. Made on a machine driven production line nowadays - probably because they make a million a year. Bet those machines are made in China .....
     
  22. benw123

    benw123 Moderator

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    I didn't realise Audi have a factory in China, but it does explain why some recent searches I made on eBay yielded a few A6 parts from there.

    I agree with the other posts that quality will probably be okay as long as German management oversee it, much like the Japanese have with the Sunderland and Swindon (Honda) plants. But time will tell.
     
  23. Splathead

    Splathead Active Member Team Navarra VCDS Map User Audi RS3

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    I suspect that you are all worrying needlessly.

    I work for a very large German company that has manufacturing plants literally all over the world. I have visited many of them and to be honest, being at the plant in China is exactly the same as being in Germany - just the people and the language change.

    In the case of my company, the quality and manufacturing standards are identical wherever you are in the world and the directors and senior management of the plants are generally all German - parachuted in to run things. (whisper this - the lowest warranty claims are for products out of China...)

    My point is that it's not the country of origin or workforce that causes quality problems, it's the lack of a quality systems and structures. The plant that I work at in the UK had all sorts of traumas until we had a completely German board forcing us to use Global procedures....

    I have no reason to believe that VAG would run things any differently.

    (I should also say that I have been to some Chinese suppliers that are shocking hell-holes but that's another story)
     
  24. marriedblonde

    marriedblonde Active Member

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    Some of them have longer waiting lists...

    And yes some people will wait 2 years for a Rolex

    J.
     
  25. Khufu

    Khufu Well-Known Member

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    That would have been me. Alfa's are poorly designed and poorly built. Bit of the style over substance, bit like Aprilia's too. I have never met a person who didnt regret buying an Alfa.

    I'm sure the Germans will love loosing their jobs to the Chinese. I just hope that PaulAR is right about things being done properly. I take it BMW's are still made in Germany? Their quality has been dropping of late (their bikes too).
     
  26. Splathead

    Splathead Active Member Team Navarra VCDS Map User Audi RS3

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  27. Khufu

    Khufu Well-Known Member

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  28. sat1983

    sat1983 Member

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    I can't explain it myself but this is why I bought a mini. It's built just down the road and seems to have the best of both world, british built (is this a good thing???!) but german owned.
    I know it shouldn't technically make a difference but buying an Audi made in China seems all wrong to me. Give it 10 years and everything will be built in China, we'll all be jobless!!!!!!!!
     
  29. marriedblonde

    marriedblonde Active Member

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    I had a MCS for a few months and the build quality was awful. Mine was the second gen which was supposed to be better than the first. I know another member on here is on his second, Japper, and he has reported that the build quality is quite good. I had a cooper as a loan car earlier this year but only drove it for a few days so can only comment that it was a lot better than mine but it was a brand new one and I only had it for a few days.

    J.
     
  30. marriedblonde

    marriedblonde Active Member

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    LOL...Brilliant :) this was supposed to make us laugh right?
     
  31. Amchlolor

    Amchlolor Active Member

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    I never regretted buying my 156.
    I regretted having to sell it, due to a change in company car tax rules.
    The bloke I sold it to has no regrets either, he still has it.
    Two owners in 8 years (W plate) proves there's ****** all wrong with it.
     
  32. Khufu

    Khufu Well-Known Member

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    not at all, maybe just a sign of the times of all brands. I'm not anti BMW, had an old E30 318 years ago plus I wouldn't say no to another BMW in the future. Im just going with our customers complaints.

    The AA towed in an four year old Alfa (forget model) a few months ago, timing belt had snapped after 35k. He wasnt happy to be told it would realistically need a new engine as when the valves bend they wreck the bearings top & bottom of the conrods too. As I said, sign of the times - Audi's diesel cylinder heads causing issues too? In the the quest for better crash protection, more power & better fuel economy with less emmisions maybe its a sign of things to come.

    Glad some people have had good experinces with Alfa's, Ramble over :beerchug:
     
  33. bacardi

    bacardi Active Member

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    only as much as Audi's build quality claims make me laugh :)

    hopefully being screwed together in China will improve things
     
  34. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Wheel bearing production is being moved to Munich....
     
  35. bacardi

    bacardi Active Member

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    probably to keep the supply times to my local dealers as short as possible :)
     
  36. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    He he, touche;)
     
  37. Amchlolor

    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Bacardi, I found this photo of A3 wheel bearings being made.

    [​IMG]
     
  38. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Impossible.

    Note, the baking tray has been greased......
     
  39. bacardi

    bacardi Active Member

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    Superb, coffee over the keyboard :)
     
  40. Amchlolor

    Amchlolor Active Member

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    That baking tray will have an Audi part number.
    £80 to you, sir.
    The piping bag isn't available seperately.
    Only as part of the 'masterbaker' pack.
     

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