At the Audi MQ! Summit in Beijing Audi China President, Gaby Wuest held the opening keynote and discussed the exciting potential of the automotive market in China. The MQ! Summit is an inspirational conference about the future of mobility and the speakers all embraced the conference hashtag #NeverStopQuestioning.
I’ve attended all of Audi’s MQ! Summits, the last I was actually the moderator, so when Audi decided to host their first international location in Beijing, I needed to attend. It’s the strongest automotive market in the world and it’s unique because legislation is in favor of pushing forward with autonomous drive and their customers are the most digitally savvy in the world. There is no question in my mind why their first time they held the conference outside of Germany, Audi picked China.
Every third Audi is sold in China and they are about to deliver their 6 Millionth car! Audi has been in China since 1988, they were the first of the Premium carmakers to enter this market.
Audi’s “Vorsprung Durch Technik” or “Progress through technology” is a perfect fit with what’s currently happening in China:
- 21% of technology patent applications are from China, and they keep it up, they’ll surpass the US in 2yrs
- 73% of Chinese ppl feel comfortable using an autonomous car today
- More happens in a minute here in China than in any market in the world. The pace of China is like no other.
The last point really resonated with me as someone who has recently moved to Berlin from Asia, the speed at which transactions and digital innovation happen can’t compare. The willingness of the Chinese consumer to try new things makes the market, in my opinion, makes it the most playful in the world.
Gaby Wuest has recently taken the role as President of Audi China and like me, she’s found her self constantly drawn back to China because of the pace of innovation and change. We discuss the difference in developing autonomous drive for the China market, things like increasing the number of sensors and a different driving algorithm. In the VW Group, each brand is leading in one area and Audi is in charge of autonmous drive. This makes what Audi China is doing even more interesting because their work has the potential to lead the entire VW Group in autonomous drive. They’re already working with V2X on 5G and were the first foreign car company to get two level 4 testing licenses.
To learn more about Audi’s potential and challenges in the Chinese market, please watch the full interview above.