Finally after a long series of rumors, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has confirmed that the German automaker plan to build a vehicle assembly plant in North America.
Automotive News says the automaker will decide within three years where the plant will be located, what model or models will be built there, and what the capacity will be.
Stadler is quoted as saying that Audi intends to grow between 10% and 20% in 2011 in the U.S. and that its sales target of 1.5 million vehicles originally planned for 2015 will be achieved as early as 2014.
The CEO expects the 1.2 million vehicle sales mark to be exceeded in 2011.
Audi sold 101,629 vehicles in the U.S. in 2010, a production record. Stadler said the company plans to increase sales in America by 10 to 20 percent this year, and could surpass 150,000 by 2015.
In addition, Audi may consider building an engine and transmission plant in the U.S., which would increase the amount of domestic content in Audi vehicles. The facility could be shared with Volkswagen, which recently established a new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The $1 billion Chattanooga plant, when fully operational, will have capacity to build 150,000 vehicles a year. But Volkswagen of America President Jonathan Browning said at the Detroit auto show in January that the plant could be expanded to produce 500,000 vehicles.