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by George Skentzos

Audi has announced that it has officially begun mass production of the new Audi A1 at its site in Brussels at a rate of around 500 vehicles per day.

An initial batch of 50,000 units of the Audi A1 model line are planned for 2010 with 80,000 more scheduled to be built in 2011, although many new buyers will have to wait with Audi expecting demand to far out weight supply.

“I have never before witnessed such a high level of interest in a new model even before the start of advance sales,” remarked Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. “Judging by the high level of demand, orders this year could well exceed our production capacity.”

Audi claims over 103,000 prospective buyers have already registered their interest in the new Audi A1 – over 90 per cent of which have never owned an Audi before.

The Audi A1 is positioned to win over a more youthful clientele for whom Audi’s were previously priced out of consideration, although with a starting price of A$22,150 in Europe the A1 is well within their reach.

“The A1 represents an important milestone for our company,” stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “Firstly, we are charting new territory with the model by launching the first premium vehicle in the subcompact segment. Secondly, the new model will play an important role in helping us to once again reach the record mark of one million vehicles sold in 2010, thus continuing our success story.”

Audi is launching its A1 with two engine options, the 1.4 TFSI and the 1.6 TDI, both featuring a start-stop system with braking energy recovery to set new benchmarks for efficiency.

Audi also plans to launch an ultra-economical 1.2 TFSI model at a later date.

To help launch the Audi A1, the brand also enlisted the help of Justin Timberlake to reach a ‘younger’ audience, creating a six-part miniseries which is available to view on the company’s YouTube page.

Australian specifications, pricing and availability will be confirmed closer to the local release date.




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