5 minutes overseas phone, rewriting the history of China’s automobile industry | Audi and FAW’s 30 years

Today’s Chinese auto industry can be described as a day in the sky. Although this year’s growth rate has slowed down, it still does not reduce the hegemony. It should be noted that in the past 9 years, China’s automobile production and sales ranked first in the world, and it is the largest automobile market in the world. Such achievements are unimaginable for the older generation of automakers in the early days of reform and opening up 40 years ago.

Although China introduced the first truck in New China in 1956, it launched the first car in China in 1958, but after nearly 30 years of development, in the mid-1980s, China’s automobile industry, especially It is the weakness of the passenger car, and it is still difficult to put it on the countertop. It is precisely in this case that it is close to zero basis, Chinese auto people began the development of the modern passenger car industry.

The bicycle army in the early stage of reform and opening up

At that time, the spirit of China under the reform and opening up, the thriving scene, the demand for cars has increased sharply, and the problem of insufficient production of domestic cars and single products has gradually surfaced. So the national level began to plan the road to restart the car industry.


A thorny problem in the automotive industry at the time was that China lacked a high-end car for the official car market. As the earliest automobile production base in China, the superior instructed FAW to re-plan the production of the car.

After picking up the task, the question before the director of the first car, Zhao Zhaojie, is how to make a car. Is it a “self-development model” represented by Japan, South Korea, etc., or is it a “completely open model” for countries such as Brazil, Spain, and Canada?

Zhai Zhaojie understands that China’s auto industry must master the independent intellectual property rights of middle and high-class cars, and must introduce foreign advanced high-end car technology, digest and absorb it through assembly and production, and then build a national brand. At that time, China also had a joint venture car company. From 1983 to 1985, Beijing Jeep, Shanghai Volkswagen, Tianjin Dafa, and Guangzhou Peugeot were successively established. FAW, the eldest son of the Republic, has also begun to find partners on a global scale.

The first to enter the field of FAW is Chrysler. At that time, FAW and Chrysler signed a 488 engine production line transfer agreement, and plans to further introduce Chrysler models. However, this plan was eventually terminated by a five-minute overseas phone call.

In 1987, Dr. Hahn, the former chairman of the Volkswagen Group, came to FAW for the first time, and he met with the then FAW plant director Yan Zhaojie.

In the process of discussing cooperation, the factory director suddenly got up and left for a little while. At that time, Hahn didn’t know why. Later, he learned that the FAW factory director had called an overseas call to stop the model introduction contract with Chrysler.

At that time, Chrysler believed that after the Chinese purchased the engine, it must purchase another Dodge 600 model production line, so it took the price to start, and issued a high technology transfer fee – the production line that will be eliminated will actually reach $17.6 million! Moreover, after the Chinese delegation sent a high-level negotiating team led by Zhu Rongji, deputy director of the State Economic Commission, and Chen Rentao, chairman of the China National Automobile Association, to the United States, Chrysler President Lee Yakoka did not even appear.

After receiving the call from the director of Zhao Zhaojie, the Chinese negotiator immediately terminated the negotiations, leaving only the Americans who had not yet understood the situation. Chrysler also lost its best development opportunities in China. Pride, after all, is a price to pay.

It can be said that it is this 5-minute transoceanic call that has changed the development of China’s high-end car industry and also rewritten the history of China’s automobile industry. Dr. Hahn later recalled: “Mr. Yu’s vision and vision are world-class, and he is a true partner of the public.

In 1988, FAW and Audi officially signed the “Technology Transfer License Contract for the Production of Audi in FAW”. The two parties agreed that Volkswagen will provide FAW with 15 variants of the Audi 100 and Audi 200, including all drawings and processes. Documents, as well as some tooling molds, body manufacturing technology, and personnel training, the first phase of FAW to produce 30,000 Audi 100 models as a “pilot project.” If the two sides continue to sign a long-term project for 150,000 golf cars in 1991, Audi will be exempted from the technology transfer fee for the Audi 100 model. FAW purchased equipment from the Volkswagen plant in Westmoreland for 10 million marks for the production of the Audi 100 model.

At this point, Audi’s legend in China officially kicked off.

At that time, Audi introduced the first model in China, the Audi 100 (C3), which embodies all the technological achievements of Audi at that time. It was awarded the “World Car” in 1983 and won a series of world awards.

With the official signing of FAW and Volkswagen, under the planning of Dr. Hahn, Volkswagen and the Chinese market are getting closer and closer. Dr. Hahn’s long-term strategic vision is aimed at the future Chinese market. He knows that China’s reform and opening up will undergo tremendous changes, and it will become the root of Volkswagen’s roots.

In 1991, the Audi 100 C4 came out. The car is the first time in the history of the Audi 100 to use the V6 engine. In 1993, the Audi 100 C4 was produced in the form of SKD parts and assembled at a price of RMB 510,000.

In 1995, the Audi 100 (C4) introduced a small redesigned model, while the Audi 100/200 series was officially renamed the Audi A6. Since then, a generation of car has officially entered the historical arena.

After several rounds of discussions and difficult negotiations, FAW, Volkswagen, and Audi signed a contract in Beijing on November 13, 1995 for the production of Audi cars into FAW-Volkswagen. A month later, the three parties jointly revised the joint venture contract, changing the share ratio structure to 60% for FAW, 30% for Volkswagen, and 10% for Audi. At the same time, FAW-Volkswagen signed an “Technology Transfer Agreement” with Audi, and the Audi series products will be officially incorporated into FAW-Volkswagen production as contract products.

It is worth mentioning that although it is now called FAW-Volkswagen Audi, it is actually the first FAW Audi, only the FAW-Volkswagen. The cooperation between FAW and Audi began in 1988, and the first Audi 100 sedan operated by the two sides went offline on August 1, 1989. FAW-Volkswagen was only established in 1991, and its first Jetta A2 sedan was launched in December 1991.

On May 31, 1997, the 100,000th domestic Audi car was off the assembly line, which left a heavy mark in the history of China’s automobile industry.

From the construction in 1988 to the nine years in 1997, FAW produced Audi 100 and 123,000 small red flag cars based on Audi 100. The localization rate of parts and components reached 82% and 93% respectively, and the sales revenue reached 31.1 billion yuan. The company realized a profit and tax of 6.6 billion yuan, and also paid a tariff of 7 billion yuan for the imported parts of the Audi 100 CKD, saving the country a lot of foreign exchange resources that were extremely valuable at that time.

Not only that, Audi has also filled the gap in China’s mid- to high-class sedan sector and made great contributions to the establishment and standardization of China’s auto industry system.


In a blink of an eye, in 2018, FAW-Volkswagen Audi has already passed half a game in China. At the time of the 30th, the Audi brand has always occupied the position of No.1 in the luxury brand cars of China from the original Audi 100, which is the only single shadow, to the current Audi A, Q and R models. It was also the unique eye of Dr. Hahn.

In the past 30 years, the Audi 100/200 C3, C4, Audi A6 C5, C6, C7, C8 multi-generation models have been off the assembly line, the first high-end cars have taken root in growth; Audi A4 B6, B7, B8, B9, etc. have become the Chinese auto market. The best-selling Audi brand.

Not only that, in 2010, FAW-Volkswagen Audi conducted localized research and development and improvement on Q5, meeting the needs of Chinese consumers for high-end SUVs. From the actual market feedback, the Audi Q5 is very popular, saying that it is hard to ask for a car. You must know that at that time, there were consumers who smashed the 4S shop’s exhibition car in order to buy Q5 first.

Since then, the Audi brand has released a number of models in the Chinese market, and has been fully recognized by consumers.

In 2007, Audi became the first luxury car brand in China with an annual sales volume of more than 100,000 units. The sales volume reached 100,888 units that year. By 2010, Audi’s sales in China exceeded 1 million units, and in 2013 it exceeded 2 million units. In 2015, it reached 3 million units. By 2018, Audi has passed the 5 million mark.

In the past 30 years, Audi has been firmly in the top spot in the domestic luxury brand car market.

In 2016, Audi sold 591,554 vehicles in China in the whole year. In 2017, this number rose to 597,866. In the first half of 2018, Audi delivered 306,590 vehicles, a 20.3% increase over the same period of last year. In the case that the domestic auto market is generally weak this year, this figure is extremely dazzling.

Also by 2018, the FAW-Volkswagen Audi brand has been winning the JDPower “China Automotive After-Sales Service Satisfaction (CSI)” and “China Automobile Sales Satisfaction (SSI)” premium car brands for six consecutive years, of which SSI has been 9 consecutively. Winning the championship in the year, CSI ranked first for six consecutive years. FAW-Volkswagen Audi has become the most popular brand in China’s premium car market with a total score of 23 wins.

It can be seen that today’s FAW-Volkswagen Audi is refreshing the sales figures of China’s high-end car brands again and again with the speed of creating history. From the early “official car” representatives to the current people’s dream car, Audi’s ups and downs in China in the past 30 years have long been an eternal memory.

Thirty years ago, with the pace of China’s reform and opening up, China FAW further opened its doors and embraced the world and quickly began cooperation with Audi. I believe that it is precisely because of the cooperation between China FAW and Audi that it has truly opened up a new journey for luxury cars in China’s auto industry, and has truly led the new era of Chinese auto consumption entering high-end luxury. Xu Liuping, chairman of China First Automobile Group Co., Ltd., said at the 30th anniversary of the FAW-Volkswagen Audi.


30 years old, for a person, it is the year of high spirits, so is FAW-Volkswagen Audi. Standing at the new starting point in 30 years, FAW-Volkswagen Audi, who is confident in the future development, has once again laid a deeper level in the Chinese market.

In the field of new energy, FAW-Volkswagen Audi plans to introduce 40 domestic electric vehicles in the next 8 years, which is unprecedented in scale. For example, the Audi e-tron, which recently unveiled at the 2018 Guangzhou International Auto Show, plans to introduce China in 2019 and take the lead in making it in 2020. In the near future, FAW-Volkswagen Audi will also launch new Audi Q2L e-tron and Audi A6L e-tron models.

In addition, FAW-Volkswagen Audi will also develop models for the Chinese market to meet the needs of more consumers based on the needs of Chinese users. It is estimated that by 2025, FAW-Volkswagen Audi’s new energy vehicles will account for more than 30%, and it is expected to become the leading brand of China’s high-end new energy vehicles.

In addition to new energy vehicles, intelligence is also an important development direction of FAW-Volkswagen Audi. It is understood that before 2022, Volkswagen will invest 15 billion euros as the R&D budget for new technologies, and plans to implement 100% of the Audi car network installation by 2025. Audi mobile and digital online platforms will exceed 2 million active users. FAW-Volkswagen Audi is also expected to become the first brand of high-end mobile travel.

In the future, with the full opening of China’s auto industry, FAW and Audi will further integrate Huitong in the joint venture model, resulting in a deep “chemical reaction”.

For example, the two sides first focused on the launch of the model, agreed to strengthen the product demand driven by the Chinese market, expand the launch of new models, and open up more market segments, the new Audi Q2L and Q8 is the latest embodiment of this strategy.

Secondly, starting from the needs of Chinese users, FAW-Volkswagen Audi will participate in the development. In the future, China and Germany will focus on the development of Chinese users’ R&D models. FAW-Volkswagen Audi will participate in the pre-development process of all Audi models. Simply put, the needs of Chinese users will have a deeper impact on Audi’s global product development.

Third, enhance the localization of research and development capabilities, especially in the field of new energy vehicles and smart cars, to strengthen the localization level of research and development and production. It is worth mentioning that by 2023, the number of employees in the FAW Audi R&D Center will increase from the current 280 to about 650, allowing more Chinese engineers and technicians to get the platform and opportunities for learning, training and upgrading. .

In addition, FAW-Volkswagen Audi will also deepen the digital sharing and mobile travel areas to lay out the future. At present, FAW Audi has launched My Audi and the first mobile travel service product in China that is tailored to the needs of China’s high-end car market – “Audi on demand + mobile travel”, diversified, multi-angle for users Create a personalized experience in the mobile Internet era.


“The pioneer of the times, first in the times!”

The slogan of FAW-Volkswagen Audi highly summarizes the roots of the Audi brand in China and is a true portrayal of the development of China’s high-end cars.

Thirty years ago, Audi opened a door to bring the world’s leading automotive technology and experience to China, and today, 30 years later, it blossoms and bears fruit. With the transformation and upgrading of China’s auto industry, FAW-Volkswagen Audi has also ushered in more development opportunities.

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Post time: Dec-11-2018
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