Widespread acceptance with customers
Production to be stepped up further
Launch in additional markets
The new Audi Q7 is proving to be a big seller. Although it was only launched at the start of March, more than 16,000 customer orders have already been received. The Q7 will have been launched in most European markets by the end of March, followed by the USA and China in June and all other markets in the second half of the year.
“The production lines are humming,” says Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Audi Board Member for Production. The plan is to step up production from the current 200 units a day to 300 by the early summer. Heizmann: “We will pull out all the stops in order to meet our customers’ expectations. Organisational measures already introduced – such as production throughout the holiday period or in three shifts – will enable us to reach this goal.” In the future, the annual production figure in a full year will be between 50,000 and 70,000 vehicles.
Built in Bratislava under Audi’s direction, the Q7 – a third-generation SUV (sports utility vehicle) – sets new standards in the areas of design, performance, comfort, luxury and safety. Production of the new Audi Q7 is a genuine joint affair. Whereas final assembly of the SUV is taking place at an ultramodern plant in the Slovak capital of Bratislava, Audi’s German plants at Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm are supplying all key body elements, as well as a large number of its components. The power units for the Q7 are being built at Audi’s Hungarian engine plant in Györ. A total of some 3,000 workers are involved in production of the Q7 at the plant in Slovakia. A total investment in the triple-digit million euro range has been made in the vehicle’s production facilities.
Audi Production in Ultramodern Bratislava Plant
With Shopping Baskets and Infrared
Production of the new Audi Q7 is a genuine joint affair. Whereas final assembly of the SUV (sports utility vehicle) takes place at an ultramodern plant in the Slovak capital of Bratislava, Audi's German plants at Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm are supply all key body components, as well as a large number of modules. The power units for the Q7 are built at Audi's Hungarian engine plant in Györ. A total of some 3,000 workers are involved in production of the Q7 at the plant in Slovakia. A total investment in the triple-digit million euro range has been made in the vehicle's production facilities. The production capacity for the Q7, based on three shifts a day, is between 50,000 and 70,000 units per year.
Dr. Jochem Heizmann, AUDI AG Member of the Board of Management for Production, declared: "The VW Slovakia plant in Bratislava is a new production location for Audi. The Q7 built there complies with Audi's quality standards and characteristics. We have channelled our planning, production and toolmaking expertise into the new operations. Bratislava likewise comes up to Audi's extremely high standards. So the Q7 merits the description 'Made by Audi' in every respect."
The Audi Q7 went into production in Bratislava in autumn of 2005. To assure a smooth, swift ramp-up of production that complied with the stringent quality standards a of the premium manufacturer, Audi employees from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm were posted to Slovakia to support the highly-qualified local skilled workers and engineers with the production launch.
"We wanted to be building with supreme quality from the very first vehicle on. This principle applies as much to the Q7 in Bratislava as to all other Audi models that we build in Germany, Hungary, Brazil or China," continued Heizmann.
The central element of the Q7 production line is a body shop purpose-built for the Audi SUV. Hall 4, encompassing over 62,000 square metres of floor area, is where the Q7 body now takes shape, in 56 separate operations, from 220 separate steel and aluminium components. The integrated aluminium process has been adopted from the Audi A8 production line at Neckarsulm, to ensure that production processes for this light alloy are handled expertly. The hall consequently, had to be completely gutted and fitted out with new facilities. It is now home to 650 employees working on a three-shift basis.
The sheet-metal pressings are largely from Audi's German plants. For instance, the nine components for the complex aluminium tailgate are manufactured in their entirety at the Neckarsulm press shop and then transferred to Bratislava. Audi's plant in Baden-Württemberg is where the car manufacturer's entire aluminium and lightweight design expertise is based.
It is also there that the development of other Q7 body components from that light metal was pioneered. The wings, bonnet and bumper cross-members, for example, are likewise made from aluminium. Use of this lightweight construction material cut the weight of the overall body by 22 kilograms compared with an equivalant steel design. As for major steel components, the Ingolstadt press shop is where all such elements for the Q7 are produced. These inculd the roof, frame, side sections, doors and sills, which are then transferred to Slovakia by rail.