On January 16, Audi announced that Johannes Roscheck (Johnannes Rochek) will be the president of Audi China from April 1, 2024, replacing Wen Zeyue, the current president of Audi China, to manage Audi's business in the Chinese market. After two years in Beijing, Wen Zeyue will return to the headquarters of Volkswagen Group in Germany.
According to the official press release, Johannes Roscheck is a mechanical engineer with a doctorate in economics and more than 25 years of experience in finance and production in the automotive industry. Johannes Roscheck currently serves as Audi's head of corporate control and finance in Ingolstadt. From 2017 to 2022, Johannes Roscheck was responsible for Audi's business operations in Brazil as Audi's Brazilian CEO. In addition, he has held management positions in Volkswagen Group in Hungary, the United States and Germany.
According to the data, Wen Zeyue joined Volkswagen Group in 2004 and held management positions in the production departments of Volkswagen Commercial vehicles and Audi, as well as the production planning and production strategy departments of Volkswagen Group. In 2013, Wen Zeyue was appointed Deputy General Manager and Director of FAW-Volkswagen Co., Ltd. (technology), responsible for technology research and development, product management and manufacturing. During this period, Wen Zeyue has been put into operation through ten new FAW-Volkswagen plants, including Audi's new production bases in Foshan, Tianjin and Qingdao. In January 2022, Wen Zeyue succeeded an Shihao as president of Audi China for two years and three months.
As a senior player in China's luxury car market, Audi's electrification in the Chinese market has become one of the favorite topics in the industry in recent years, and Johannes Roscheck, which is about to take office, will undoubtedly play a key role in promoting Audi's future strategy in China, focusing on Audi's arduous task of accelerating the transformation of electrification.
Audi delivered a total of 729000 new cars in China in 2023, far surpassing BMW and Mercedes-Benz in year-on-year growth of 13.5 per cent, but the latter two are still ahead of Audi. BMW ranked first with 825000 vehicles, up 4.2 per cent year-on-year, while Mercedes-Benz ranked second with 765000 vehicles, up 1.2 per cent year-on-year. In addition, Audi also obviously lags behind these two luxury brands in the electrified transformation.
Oliver Blume, chief executive of Volkswagen Group, has publicly admitted that Audi's lineup "lags behind its competitors", particularly in electric cars, as evidenced by Audi's poor performance in the Chinese market. After being named and criticized by Bloom, Audi Group urgently changed its boss. In September 2023, Audi announced that Gernot D ö llner would succeed Markus Duesmann as Audi Group CEO.
Electric vehicles have become the focus of Audi's future development. Audi Q6 e-tron, which was delayed by Volkswagen's software arm CARIAD, will be launched globally in the second half of this year. It is Audi's first all-electric model based on Volkswagen's PPE electric platform architecture. According to the plan, Audi will launch 20 models worldwide in the next three years, including five locally produced high-end electric models for the Chinese market, including the Audi A6 e-tron and Audi Q6 e-tron models, which will be put into production at the PPE plant.
In the Chinese market, Audi also wants to use the power of local carmakers to keep up with the fast-paced transformation. In July 2023, SAIC announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Audi, which will speed up the development of SAIC Audi's new electric models. The two sides agreed that China's auto market is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, so it will further deepen strategic cooperation and open a new chapter of cooperation to provide a guarantee for win-win results. It has been revealed that this cooperation Audi hopes to obtain three-electricity system, get off the car body, smart driving system and other related technology, but the appearance, interior design and other modeling design is controlled by Audi independently.
At present, China is Audi's largest single market in the world, but it has underperformed its competitors in the Chinese market. Audi's new energy vehicles sold in China include Q2L e-tron, A6L e-tron, Q4 e-tron, e-tron, Q5L e-tron and so on, but the sales performance is not excellent. According to the data of the Federation of passengers, the cumulative sales of Q4 e-tron, Q5 e-tron and e-tron in 2023 are 23350, 5207 and 1969 respectively.
The new Audi Q6 e-tron means that Audi electrification has entered a new stage, but whether this can be the beginning of Audi's "turnaround" of electrification transformation is not simple at present. In the fiercely competitive Chinese electric car market, Audi's position is far from what it used to be in terms of product strength and influence. With the return of domestic new energy vehicles to market drivers, the real competition has just begun. The key is how Audi finds its own position.
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