Audi Q3 to be built in Spain

Audi has today announced that, for now at least, it will not produce its Q3 compact SUV in the US as first planned. Instead the decision has been made to built the all-new vehicle in Spain.
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Audi says the decision will not affect Volkswagen's plans to open a US plant to build VW-branded sedans in 2011.

Due to the importance of SUVs in the US car market, Audi rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz manufacture those models at plants in the southern United States.

Earlier this week, Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen said Audi could buy an existing plant in the US or build a new one, or use sister brand Volkswagen's Tennessee plant due to open in 2011 if the need arose to build SUVs locally in the future.

But first Audi has to get closer to its announced goal of 200,000 annual US sales by 2018 before it needs North American production.

Audi said on Wednesday that it will build its new Q3 SUV in Seat's plant in Martorell, Spain starting in 2011. The plant will produce around 80,000 Q3s per year.