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Audi to boost A1 output by 20 per cent

More please: Audi's baby A1 has attracted more than 150,000 expressions of interest.

Strong global demand for Audi’s all-new A1 compact prompts production boost

27 Aug 2010

AUDI will increase production of its A1 compact car by 20 per cent to meet strong international demand, including from Australia which is due to launch the all-new model in the first quarter of 2011.

The Volkswagen luxury brand’s global sales and marketing chief, Peter Schwarzenbauer, told the Bloomberg news agency this week that the production capacity of its plant in Brussels would be expanded by 20 per cent for the A1.

The company had planned to build 100,000 A1s a year from 2012, ramping up from 50,000 this year when production started in May and 80,000 in 2011.

Mr Schwarzenbauer was also quoted as saying the A1 would be introduced in China at some point after 2011, while it will not be launched in the US until at least its second generation.

7 center imageHe also said the car, which is integral to Audi’s quest to achieve one million global sales this year, had attracted more than 150,000 expressions of interest worldwide from its website.

The A1 hits European showrooms this week, priced from €15,800 ($A22,650) in its German home market.

As GoAuto has reported, Audi Australia has confirmed the A1 would be priced to compete with the BMW-built Mini Cooper, which opens at about $32,000.

Model for model, the VW Polo-based five-door hatch will also undercut the three-door A3, which is priced from around $34,000 as an automatic.

The Australian A1 line-up is still to be finalised, but the car is expected to arrive here with at least two engine choices, including a 90kW/230Nm 1.4-litre TFSI petrol, and 66kW/230Nm 1.6-litre TDI diesel.

Audi Australia managing director Uwe Hagen told GoAuto in June that the A1 “was the most important thing of all” for the brand among the many new models in its pipeline.

“It is the centrepiece of our range and I’m totally convinced it’s the best car in its segment,” he said. “But we have to convince our customers.”

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