Speaking at the groundbreaking of the company's new plant in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico, outside of Mexico City, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler outlined in no uncertain terms the strategic importance of SUVs to the premium brand. "Worldwide, every third Audi will be an SUV by 2020," Stadler said. The Mexico plant will provide Q5 production for all markets outside of China, which has its own assembly plant for the model, according to Automotive News Europe.
Built with an initial production capacity of 150,000 units, the plant, scheduled to begin production in late 2015, was reportedly designed for future production volumes as high as 300,000 units, and could add other variations of the Q5, such as the reported Q6 crossover "coupe" model. The Q5 has an extremely tight 13-day supply in the U.S. currently.
With future production of the Q5 in much closer proximity to the U.S. market, supply issues and availability should be less of an issue. Crossover and SUV models have been the main driver of Audi's growth in the U.S. market. For the first quarter of 2013, sales of Audi's crossover and SUV models have shot up 53 percent, while sales of the brand's car models have increased by only 1 percent.
Source: Automotive News Europe