We recently had the exclusive opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at the Audi factory in Ingolstadt. The production facility responsible for production of the Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A5 and the Audi Q5.
Before the actual production facility tour started, our Audi host told us some interesting facts about its various global production locations. As mentioned, Ingolstadt is only home to the A3, A4, A5 and Q5 production. The TT is partly produced in Ingolstadt but shipped to Hungary for completion. Other key models like the A6, A7 and A8 including all S and RS models are produced in Neckarsulm near Heilbronn, Germany. Audi has seven other production facilities in Hungary, Belgium, China, India, Indonesia, Slovakia and Spain.
After the brief introduction we headed out into the factory where we were taken through the press shop where the metal-forming tools can be viewed in operation. The bodies of the Audi A3, A4, A5 and Q5 are all made by a selection of over 1,000 robots before workers then mount all the interior parts and join the powertrain with the bodies. This so called ‘marriage’ is the most important step in the production process as two important chain-processes come together here and production on either end cannot be delayed to prevent disruptions in the production.
The first few steps in the production of a new Audi A3, A4, A5 or Q5 is fully automated. The incredible robots make the Audi facility one of the most advanced body manufacturing facilities in the world. The error margins are minimal and thorough automated and manual checks throughout the process ensure that every cars body is exactly the same.
After the bodies are build they are send across the factory to the far end where they are painted in the color of choice. Once painted they return to near where they started to be assembled by a huge group of Audi employees that work Monday to Friday around the clock. This assembly process is broken up in different stations, each manned by 1 or more employees who perform a certain task. Per example mounting the seats, adding the wiring or mating the drivetrain to the chassis. Each station has exactly 80 seconds per car to perform its duties before the car is moved to the next station.
At the end of the line the car gets filled with liquids and the engine is started for the first time. From there the cars are brought to the loading docks to be either shipped to the dealership by train or truck.
If you are interested to see the Ingolstadt Audi Factory with your own eyes, you can! Audi offers German tours from Monday to Friday at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm with prices ranging from 7 euros for an adult to 200 euros in a group of up to 30 people. English tours take place Monday to Friday at 11:30am.