Royal visit marks start of production for the new Audi Q3
The heir to the Spanish throne, Prince Felipe, officially inaugurated the state-of-the-art production site for the Audi Q3 in Martorell. SEAT and Audi invested a total of €330 million in infrastructure and production facilities there. A new 30,000 m2 (322,917 sq. ft.) body shop with 450 robots was just one of the many new facilities built. Approximately 100,000 Audi Q3 units are scheduled to leave the three-shift assembly line in Martorell each year. Approximately 200 guests of honor – including politicians, Catalan business people, union representatives and members of numerous institutions – took part in the opening celebration.
“The decision to produce the Audi Q3 in Spain signals our intention to continue our dynamic course of growth while also pursing a strategy of internationalization,” says Frank Dreves, AUDI AG Board Member for Production. The start of Q3 production at the Martorell plant is a decisive milestone in the Audi brand’s history of success. As a production site, he added, Martorell has highly motivated employees and delivers top quality. “We are placing our utmost trust in the team building the Q3 here,” continues Dreves.
The new manufacturing facilities in Martorell are among the most modern in the world. For example, the “roof bell,” an innovative development from the Audi Toolmaking Division in Ingolstadt, is being used for the first time ever in body construction. A robot grabs the roof and precisely aligns it while a second robot holds the roof bell ready for the following roof on the next body.
The Audi Q3 will help SEAT permanently fill the capacity of the Martorell plant.
“The decision in favor of Martorell is therefore a firm commitment to this production location,” emphasizes James Muir, Chairman of the Board of Management of SEAT, S.A.
By choosing to produce the Q3 in Martorell, Audi is also assuming social responsibility for the site and the employees. The Company is securing some 1,500 jobs there, approximately 700 of which were created specifically for Q3 production. Training of the team took top priority right from the start. All staff completed a 180-hour program on the Q3 to prepare them for the challenges they will be faced with on the production line.
As a compact, sporty SUV, the Audi Q3 will be rounding off the existing Q family consisting of the Audi Q5 and Audi Q7. With its dynamic coupé-like styling, the five-door Q3 boasts authentic SUV traits in terms of seating position, clarity and variability and will offer an extremely sporty driving experience. The Q3 combines the design and dynamics of a compact car with the spaciousness and versatility of an SUV. Its range of driver assistance systems is redefining the compact SUV category.
The Audi Q3 is being launched with three four-cylinder engines – one TDI unit and two TFSI engines – with an additional TDI unit scheduled to follow shortly. Developing between 103 kW (140 hp) and 155 kW (211 hp), these engines are just as powerful as they are efficient.
Market launch is planned for the fourth quarter of the year. Around 100,000 units are expected to make their way to customers in 2012, the first full year of production. In Germany, sales of the Q3 will begin at the base price of €29,900. Plans are in place to build the sporty compact in China, specifically for the local market, in a second phase.
The SEAT factory in Martorell was built in 1993 and employs a workforce of over 10,000. The Audi Q3 is the first model manufactured in Spain by the Ingolstadt-based company.
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