Today, AUDI AG signed a contract in Sydney, according to which it acquires the remaining 50 percent stake in the Australian importer Audi Australia Pty Ltd from Cycle & Carriage Ltd., Singapore. The contract will come into effect on 1 January 2004. Audi Australia will then be a fully owned subsidiary of AUDI AG.
The current importer joint venture was established in 2001 between Audi and Cycle & Carriage, both holding a 50 percent share. Matthias Seidl, head of AUDI AG’s Overseas Sales, comments: “By taking complete ownership of Audi Australia Pty Ltd, we emphasize the significance of the Australian market for Audi. This action is a signal to our customers and our dealers of our long-term and direct commitment. We are confident that both the Fifth Continent as well as the entire Asia/Pacific region continues to harbour considerable market potential for Audi.”
This year, sales are expected to go up by about 40 percent to more than 80,000 vehicles in the Asia/Pacific region as a whole. For Australia alone, sales of around 4,400 units have been planned. In the past year, Audi delivered 56,483 units to customers in the Asia/Pacific region, with 4,158 destined for Australia. Along with China and Japan, the region comprises the whole of North-, South- and Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
In February 1997, the company, which was then operating under the name of Astre German Automotive Pty Ltd, took over Audi imports to Australia. In January 2001, Audi acquired an initial 50 percent share and appointed Graham Hardy, 47, from Audi South Africa as the company’s new managing director. At the same time, the company was renamed Audi Australia Pty Ltd.
The establishment of a National Sales Company in Australia is part of the Audi brand’s strategic repositioning in the Asia/Pacific region. Jörg Hofmann, Head of the Asia/Pacific region at Audi says: “It is our strategic goal to further strengthen brand awareness and image within the region’s key markets. We will therefore be expanding our commitment considerably in this region over the next three years.”
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