By Park Jin-hai

Audi Korea has been expanding its market presence here and says it will beef up its customer service, giving “premium value” to customers.

Audi Korea’s annual sales are close to 30,000 units, and Audi Volkswagen Korea has become the third-largest carmaker after Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors. The German carmaker says it will put greater focus on its service side, in line with its growing presence here.

Audi Korea operates 25 service centers across the nation. It will lift this to 40, up 60 percent. Work bays will also increase 56 percent to 469 by the end of the year

“We are committed to pulling up the quality of customer service to match our premium image,” a company official said. “We plan to open 15 additional service centers, while two new showrooms are scheduled to open this year”

This renewed emphasis on customer satisfaction echoes what its CEO, Johannes Thammer, pledged during a year-end event.

“In 2015, we will have a strong priority on improvement in service quality and capacity for both sales and after sales,” he said. “That means customers can have more accessibility, shorter waiting times and quicker repair services.”

Through its worldwide standard training system, Audi plans to provide 400 technicians, up 32 percent from the previous year They will receive extended annual training sessions for a period of 905 days to provide specialized service to customers.

Audi will adopt an aggressive marketing strategy to cement its dominant presence by launching smart-looking new models. Including the two models already launched, a total of 11 models are planned to hit local showrooms this year, including its midsized flagship sedan A6 and new four-door coupe A7.

If the visitors’ response at the recent Seoul Motor Show is any guide, the company expects its facelift of the Audi A6 ?to be launched soon ?will be another great success here.

When it was on display, local critics said the new A6 had sharper and edgier styling, while its performance in all lineups has been upgraded thanks to a stronger power train on a lighter body.

The TDI diesel lineup has its famous seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission and its gasoline model employs an automatic transmission providing optimized engine performance and efficiency, they said.

“The A6 model has always enjoyed great popularity as Audi’s best-selling model,” a company official said. “Compared with its rivals ?BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-class ?the A6 boasts better power, enabling dynamic driving.”

Since the 2011 launch of its seventh generation A6, the upscale midsize model has sold a total of 32,355 units here, as of last month. In January, the A6 35 TDI became the best seller among imported vehicles, proving its strong presence in Korea

SOURCE: The Korea Times