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10.12.2003 – 10:02

Audi AG

Trendsetter reaches production landmark
One million Audi A3 cars built in seven years

Ingolstadt, Germany (ots)

- Cross-reference: photo will be sent from 1 p.m. via satellite and
    is at 
 http://www.presseportal.de/galerie.htx?type=obs 
    available -
The one-millionth Audi A3, an Akoya Silver A3 3.2-litre V6 model
with an output of 184 kW (250 bhp) and Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG),
left the production lines in Ingolstadt today. "This day represents a
further landmark in the production history of both Audi and the
plant," commented Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of
Management for Production.
Audi first unveiled the A3 in September 1996, after a development
period of just 24 months, as the new automotive trendsetter in the
compact class. Even before its market launch, the Audi A3 was
included in the prestigious "Statement of Design" collection of the
famous London-based Design Museum. Over 20,000 customers had already
placed advance orders for the new model by then. The five-door Audi
A3 followed in 1999. In view of high overall demand, the company
decided that the successful A3 was also to be built jointly by the
Ingolstadt plant (body production, paint shop) and the Györ plant in
Hungary (assembly). Between 2001 and the start of 2003, production of
the Audi A3 in Hungary reached the 37,000 mark.
The new Audi A3 went into production in May 2003. With an
ultramodern body shop, a new press shop and a new assembly area
(total investment: EUR 500 million) the maximum production capacity
of about 700 vehicles per day was reached after only four months. It
was thus possible to pass the 100,000 mark with the new Audi A3
within the first six months of the production start.
With its three variants - the "charismatic" Audi A3 Attraction,
the "sporty" Audi A3 Ambition and the "exclusive" Audi A3 Ambiente -
the Audi A3 has rapidly established itself on the market and helped
to give the brand a more youthful, dynamic image. The following
engine versions are currently available:
- 3.2 V6 with 184 kW (250 bhp)
   - 2.0 FSI with 110 kW (150 bhp)
   - 1.6 FSI with 85 kW (115 bhp)
   - 1.6 75 kW (102 bhp)
   - 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 bhp)
   - 1.9 TDI with 77 kW (105 bhp)
Over half of those buying an Audi A3 opt for the low-consumption
TDI models. All engines comply with the stringent tax-advantageous
EU-4 emission standard.
The Audi A3 remains the only model in the premium compact class to
be available with quattro permanent four-wheel drive. The sporty
Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) is available in conjunction with the 3.2
quattro version and the 2.0 TDI. One particular high-tech feature is
the DVD-based "navigation system plus" with bird's-eye views and
controls that can be operated intuitively.
The most recent award for the Audi A3 came in mid-November in
Japan. The Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of
Japan voted the Audi A3 as "Import Car of the Year". All in all, the
Audi A3 has long since perfected its pedigree: since the market
launch of the second generation, the successor model has gained in
stature as a self-assured, overtly dynamic car. Member of the Board
of Management for Production Dr. Heizmann highlighted its importance:
"The A3 has become the springboard and quintessence of our success in
the premium segment. It has enjoyed considerable customer appeal
right from the outset. Its combination of dynamic design, consistent
styling, powerful engines and a high-quality finish has helped it
become an extremely popular car."
Xaver Meier, Chairman of the General Works Council, remembers
clearly the discussions about the production location of the Audi A3.
"The employees  in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm gave up social and
additional pay benefits in order to bring the A3 to Ingolstadt.
Looking back, it was the right decision as the A3 has contributed
significantly by securing jobs and creating new jobs. In addition, it
was also a positive statement about Germany as a production location.
For me, the Audi A3 symbolises power, strength and cohesion," said
Xaver Meier. "I am convinced that the new model will build on the
success of the original."
Photo information: A photo of the event celebrating the production
landmark is available via (obs) dpa from 1 p.m. and - together with
A3 product and production information - can be called up on
www.audi-press.com, user ID aupr0350 and password pht795 (valid until
14.12.).
ots Original Text Service: Audi AG
Internet: http://www.presseportal.de
Communication: Audi Sites
Joachim Cordshagen
telephone: +49 (0)841 89 36340 
e-mail: joachim.cordshagen@audi.de
Dr. Elke Bosselmann
telephone: +49 (0)841 89 36193
e-mail: elke.bosselmann@audi.de

Original content of: Audi AG, transmitted by news aktuell