The Audi “lighthouse”, will be built on a 3655sqm site on South Dowling Street in the southern city-fringe suburb of Rosebery. The Victoria Park area marked for the development has previous automotive associations. It was the site of the ill-fated Leyland Australia factory that built the P76.
Not that we’d suggest there any chance of the ghost of the P76 haunting Audi Australia. With sales increases of 30 per cent in 2005, 20 per cent in 2006 and a projected 20 per cent this year Audi Australia’s numbers are heading emphatically in the other direction to Leyland Australia’s.
Audi Australia chief Joerg Hofmann is forecasting 15,000 sales a year for the four-ring German luxury marque here by 2015, 1000 of them from the Rosebery showroom.
“Not only will the new retail business significantly raise the profile of Audi and benefit the Sydney dealer network in terms of a much stronger brand presence, but it will also fast-track an increase of the brand’s awareness nationally to a level on par with our competitors,” Mr Hofmann said.
The eight-level, 12,000sqm building will include a flagship retail showroom and customer facilities, after-sales centre and commercial space which will become Audi’s national HQ. It will also be used as a forum for events and new product launches. Audi has already spent $19.7 million on the land and is also developing another $29 million worth of projects including an “Audi Terminal” at Five Dock, Sydney a new showroom in Burwood, Victoria, and a new Audi Centre Canberra.
Mr Hofmann has often spoken of his desire to see Audi compete blow-for-blow with Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the luxury car arena. Under his charge Audi Australia has made considerable strides in this direction. Now it gets serious.