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China likely to be Audi's main market soon

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Photo: DPA
11:31 CEST+02:00
High-end German automaker Audi is going all out to keep up with demand in China, which could become its main market this year ahead of Germany, chairman Rupert Stadler said Friday in an interview.

"In China we are permanently at the limit of capacity," Stadler told the daily Boersenzeitung. "We are constantly increasing (production) capacity."

In the next five years, Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen, will be able to make 300,000 more cars per year in China than it does at present, he said.

Last week, rival BMW said it would revise sharply higher the number of autos shipped to China from Germany because its local output was also unable to keep up with demand.

China, the world's biggest auto market, has a growing appetite for premium autos and could become Audi's biggest market this year, pushing Germany into second place, Stadler said.

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He sought however to temper undue enthusiasm for Audi's prospects there, saying "we cannot pretend there will always be annual growth of 30-40 percent in the future.

"That would run counter to all experience," he added.

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