A production milestone has been reached at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt: Exactly 20 years ago, on September 18, 1995, the first Audi A3 came off the assembly line here. Since then, the Audi Group has built over 3.5 million units of the successful model worldwide. Today, one out of five Audi cars delivered comes from this model line. At the same time, the Audi A3 is a ground breaking car when it comes to alternative drive systems – as demonstrated by the flexible production of the A3 Sportback e-tron, A3 Sportback g-tron and classic A3 models. They are all built on the same production line at the Ingolstadt plant.
“20 years of the Audi A3 – that is 20 years of success in the compact class. Back then, we founded a new segment with the A3. Today, the high-volume A3 family is a fixed component of our model lineup,” says Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Audi Board Member for Production. “Two decades of the Audi A3 – and behind it a highly qualified production team. Without them, such a success story would not have been conceivable.”
Peter Mosch, Chairman of the Audi General Works Council: “The Audi A3 is a very strong pillar for protecting jobs. That is why the Works Council supports continued production of such important models here at the home plant in Ingolstadt. Job growth over the past 20 years alone confirms that this is the right path.”
When it made its debut, the Audi A3 was already setting new standards in the compact class with its sporty character, high‑quality workmanship and optional quattro all‑wheel drive system. At the Ingolstadt production site, innovative production technologies and maximum flexibility in body manufacturing have been guaranteeing this top quality right up to today. Here, Audi produces the Audi A3, A3 Sportback, A3 Sportback e‑tron and A3 Sportback g‑tron models. In 2014 alone, this represented a total of 188,465 automobiles.
Meanwhile, the compact car from Ingolstadt has become a global player. It has conquered the roads in over 100 sales markets, and it is also manufactured at other Audi production sites. In 2001, the Audi Group had already extended portions of A3 production to its production site in Györ. Today, the Audi A3 Sedan and A3 Cabriolet come off the assembly line at that plant, and in 2014 production volume there was 117,578 models. Last year, a total of 46,000 Audi A3 Sportback and A3 Sedan cars were produced at the Chinese plant in Foshan. 10,000 additional A3 Sedans were built in Aurangabad, India. Very soon, the premium brand will be producing the A3 Sedan in Brazil as well. Total production volume since the car made its debut 20 years ago is 3,647,833 A3 models.
Series production of the first plug‑in hybrid model at the Ingolstadt plant is a ground‑breaking achievement in the direction of electric mobility. Here, Audi is producing the Audi A3 Sportback e‑tron in the same cycle time and on the same line as conventional A3 models. Demand is especially strong in the Netherlands where every second Audi A3 Sportback car sold is an e-tron. Chinese customers have been able to buy the Audi A3 e‑tron since July. It will launch in the USA at the end of 2015.
The brand with the four rings also produces the low‑emission Audi A3 Sportback g‑tron on the existing A3 production line in Ingolstadt. The g‑tron is the first natural‑gas powered car to be produced by the brand. The model can use either fossil‑based natural gas or climate-protecting Audi e‑gas as fuel. The g‑tron is especially popular in Italy where one out of nine A3 Sportback cars sold is powered by natural gas.