Audi launched its new compact A1 hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year as a competitor to BMW’s Mini. Although the A1 was intended to stay in Europe, the car received such unexpected interest that Audi has decided to sell the car globally, but unfortunately, still not in the United States.
The news of the Audi A1 sales expansion comes from Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi’s head of marketing and sales. Schwarzenbauer told Bloomberg that A1 sales will be expanded to global markets in 2011, with the exception of the U.S. and China. He added that the compact hatchback will be introduced in China sometime after 2011, but won’t make it to the U.S. until its second generation, “at the earliest.”
In order to cope with the increased markets, Audi is ramping up production of the A1. According to Schwarzenbauer, Audi is increasing A1 production at its Brussels, Belgium, assembly plant by 20 percent. This will bring total A1 production to at least 120,000 units annually, as Audi initially pledged to build 100,000 A1s per year.
Audi introduced the A1 as part of its plan to grow and dethrone BMW as the world’s largest luxury carmaker by 2015, and parent Volkswagen’s aim to become the largest carmaker in the world by 2018.
The A1 goes on sale in Europe on August 27, and sales will be expanded to other markets around the world later in 2011. It starts at €15,800 ($19,900) in Germany.