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Audi's pricey investment


The new complex, due to open in 2009, will be located at Victoria Park in Rosebery and will stand eight-storeys high. As well as becoming Audi's national headquarters, it will also feature a flagship retail showroom and customer facilities, after-sales centre and commercial space.

Audi also plans to use the new facility for future events and new product launches.

And the location of the new Audi development already possesses some motoring history, having been the site of the BMC plant from the 1950s through to the 1970s. It was here the ill-fated Leyland P76 was built until the plant closed down in 1974.

It's one of the most significant overseas investments made by Audi's parent company, Audi AG. Audi Australia managing director Joerg Hofmann says it shows the parent company's commitment to the local market.

He says: “A key part of Audi's growth strategy in the medium term requires investment by the dealer network in facility upgrades, preparing the brand to reach 15,000 unit sales in the year 2015 and to deliver best-in-class customer satisfaction."

“Not only will the new retail business significantly raise the profile of Audi and benefit the Sydney dealer network in terms of a much stronger brand presence, but it will also fast-track an increase of the brand's awareness nationally to a (new) level ..."

The Audi Centre Sydney will be the first of its type in the world and, says Hofmann, is one of a very small number of factory-funded headquarters outside Europe.

“It is probably one of five or so. There is China, Japan and Singapore,” he adds.

It took more than 18 months to develop the plan and sell it to Audi management in Germany, but Hofmann says the job was made easier by recent sales successes in Australia.

The company has registered between 20 and 30 per cent year-on-year growth since it became a factory operation, growing from less than 4000 sales to a projected 7000-plus this year. The 2007 total has already passed the 2006 result, hitting 6295 by the end of October for a 36 per cent improvement.