A brand world that can be experienced: Interview with Markus Siebrecht of the Audi AG
ADLERSHOF SPECIAL: Audi invests more than € 30 million. Why?
MARKUS SIEBRECHT: Adlershof is an excellent location, also and in particular because of BBI Airport. At the same time we believe that there will be a growing demand here for vehicles, no less fuelled by the Technology Park and the companies established and working here.
Adlershof will become a so called flagship Audi Centre in eighteen metropolises in Germany. What are we to understand by that?
A brand world that can be experienced. The Berlin Adlershof Audi Centre with its terminal architecture houses a brand store where the customer can experience the whole range of Audi brand values. Adlershof will be focusing on becoming a centre for our own brand ‘Audi GW:plus’, for high quality used cars. These we understand to be used cars built recently, mostly company cars, with a special certification and a warranty. The shell of the building and the logistics are aligned to this business field.
You spoke of values. What are they?
Progressiveness, innovation, design orientation and sportiness of vehicles.
Next year Adlershof will be 20 years old. Why has Audi come now of all times?
One prime reason is the BBI. Yet our decision was ultimately swayed also by the entire south-east stretch along the Berlin motorway whose fascinating development we could observe particularly in recent years.
How does Audi feel as a traditional brand at this high-tech location?
Like hand in glove. Many of the companies there are our customers. With the used car centre we intend to strengthen these ties because we know the location will continue to evolve. The idea is simple and ingenious: bringing together high-tech companies, and short routes for joint ventures and the exchange of knowhow. Adlershof is a success story that you can see.
What will the customer be experiencing?
There is a clearly defined Audi brand architecture. On the one hand we have the Audi hangar style of many years’ standing, with slightly arched roof and raked facade. Developed specifically for metropolises and urban areas, the terminal style has now been with us for a good two years – a highly progressive architecture that signalises the classical Audi attributes: lightweight design, aluminium, bodywork. We make what the customer encounters in vehicles an experience. This also includes e.g. a car configurator that lets users assemble their dream car in 3D and rotate it about its axes. The configurator presents interior and exterior views, and the customer can test and view the function of each option.
You’re building a 31 metre tower on the premises. What purpose will that serve?
We’ll need a signal into the distance. This tower is that special architectural highlight that at the same time functions as a delivery tower. The Adlershof premises about the motorway bridge crossing over the Teltow Canal. With this tower we have a signal that goes beyond the motorway. That was important to us. We are even examining the wish put forward by the Borough Mayor to replace the Audi brand logo on the tower with the words ‘Audi Adlershof’.
In early June you dug the first turf. How long had it been since the decision in favour of Adlershof?
From the first contact to the start of construction it had been 24 months. That is a remarkably short time for a capital city like Berlin, where many purviews play their part up to the Senate. Great praise for Adlershof Projekt: from the first day on, we were met there with great appreciation. Aligned to the common goal we were supported at all times and also granted all licences precisely to schedule.
Do you think that Adlershof and Audi, and especially the technologies there, will have some inspiring influence on each other?
I can’t give you a definitive answer to that yet. Many employees at progressive companies drive an Audi. Progressive people do things a lot differently and find common ground. That will also lead here to additional contacts and potential for both sides.