SEAT has just begun production on the Audi Q3. The first unit of Audi’s new compact SUV has been manufactured today in Martorell and signals the end of a process that began in 2009 when the German brand handed over the project to SEAT. Furthermore, the Q3 is the first Premium vehicle in history manufactured at a Spanish production site.
By 2012, after the first full year of production, Audi plans to have delivered around 100,000 units of the new car. The Q3 will be manufactured in three shifts, and will be decisive to SEAT claiming its objective of reaching the full capacity potential of its Martorell factory installations.
- The first unit of Audi’s new model is leaving the Martorell factory today
- The Q3 safeguards 1,500 jobs and contributes around 100,000 vehicles annually to the Spanish company’s production volume
SEAT Vice-president for Production, Wolfram Thomas, acknowledged “the collaboration of everyone who participated in the Q3 project over the last two years”. Thomas underlined that the new model “is another example of the trust that the Volkswagen Group, and especially Audi, have placed in SEAT, and at the same time, of the high level of training and capacity held by all SEAT professionals to manufacture a premium vehicle such as the Q3”.
Furthermore, Audi AG Vice-president for Production, Frank Dreves, pointed out that “manufacturing the Q3 is an example of how we take advantage of synergies within the Group to sharpen our competitive edge. The Martorell factory is an extremely competent facility with a highly qualified workforce, working together to meet the standards of excellence demanded by our brand. The Q3 most certainly carries the Audi seal of quality”.
Manufacturing the new Q3 creates 1,500 jobs at SEAT, 700 of which have been newly created. New staff recruitment began a few weeks ago and will end in September this year. In total, around 1,200 people have participated in a special qualified training program lasting 176 hours specifically designed for the Q3. Moreover, the manufacturing concession of the Q3 at SEAT enables to create and consolidate more than 4.000 jobs of the automobile supplier industry in Spain.
SEAT and Audi have invested close to 330 million euros on the facilities and infrastructure necessary to manufacture the Q3, which are among the most modern in the world. More specifically, a new 30,000 square meters assembly facility has been built and equipped with 450 ultra-modern robots to manufacture the Q3. Some of the technical breakthroughs include the use of a “roof dome” for the first time, an invention featured in the die-stamping section of Audi’s factory in Ingolstadt, Germany. This “dome” and several robot arms are used to fit the roof onto the chassis of the car.
Thanks to systematic lightweight design, the basic version of the Q3 weighs less than 1,500 kg. The engine hood and wraparound tailgate, which houses the taillights, are made of aluminum; the safe and solid passenger compartment features a great many ultra-high-strength steels.
Audi is venturing into a new market segment with the Q3, a compact SUV striving to make a dash to the top slot of the premium car makers. The basic price of the Q3 is 29,900 euros, with sales in Europe scheduled for June. Its launch is expected for the last quarter of this year.
The Audi Q3 is a compact sporty SUV that joins the Audi Q family siblings Audi Q5 (manufactured in Ingolstadt) and the Audi Q7 (made in Bratislava). With its five-door, compact, dynamic coupé styling, the design of the Q3 offers typical SUV characteristics such as driving position, wheel size and generous ground clearance, symbolizing its sporty identity. It combines the design and dynamic performance of a compact with the roominess and versatility of a SUV and features an array of assistance systems that put it in a premium compact SUV class of its own. The Audi Q3 is available with three different four-cylinder engines – one TDI and two TFSI units. With power outputs ranging from 140 hp (103 kW) to 211 hp (155 kW), these engines are as efficient as they are powerful.