Published on January 11th, 2022 | by Subhash Nair0
Industry Rumour: Audi CKD Will Come By Mid-2022, Possibly At Inokom Plant
A little bird has whispered something in our ear about Ingolstad and Inokom working on an Audi CKD programme.
The other day, we were at an exclusive industry event when a friend came up to us and began sharing some rumours about everyone’s fourth favourite German premium brand – Audi. For years, Audi has been struggling to get the pricing it needs to compete against its direct rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW. And now with Porsche getting its own local-assembly programme in place, the good people in Ingolstad have finally decided to bite the bullet and commence CKD operations in Malaysia for Audi.
How certain is this?
According to our friend, this is still a rumour. He has not heard this from anyone directly involved in the project. However, he knows of a couple of people who are under NDA who hinted very strongly that Audi’s fortunes in Malaysia are about to change by mid-2022. He paired that with other corresponding rumours from people who operate an assembly plant that retooling was being done to accommodate for Audi platforms and, well, you have yourself a reasonable rumour to share.
Which models will be coming?
We don’t know. Our guess is that it’ll either be something conservative like the Audi Q3 and Q5, possibly the A3, A4 and A6. But perhaps Audi will attack some more exotic niches. Their all-electric e-tron cars are a good bet, or something in between conservative and niche like their A5 Sportback or Q4 Sportback. Who knows. At this point, we just want to see the brand with the four rings back in the game.
Will it be a success?
Audi has been stagnant in Malaysia for many years. After a failed attempt to grow the brand in 2015, Audi Malaysia withered to the point of being just a husk of its former self, with the Singapore office making major decisions. The last major product offensive came in 2019 with the introduction of new SUVs. This was followed by a trickle of new products like the Q4 and A5 Sportback. Volvo Car Malaysia has instead shown tremendous year-on-year growth with its sustained CKD operation. Unless Audi is realistic with its expansion goals, this could just end up being yet another wasted marketing program for the company.