Audi A3 Sportback

Network Collaboration

The new Audi A3 Sportback promises even greater driving pleasure and an exceptionally spacious feeling. This should not come as a surprise because Spanish temperament and technical expertise from two countries are uni- fied. During the development of the vehicle interior, engineering service provider Bertrandt showed how crossborder development can become a reality.

Development in Germany and Spain
Bertrandt, a partner in the development of selected areas of the interior of the new Audi A3 Sportback, started work at the beginning of 2002. The Bertrandt engineers were able to draw on the skills and experience they had acquired during the development of the complete interior for the second generation of the Audi A3, which differed from the original model.

Mixed project team
For Bertrandt Ingolstadt, this meant turning its long-term regional development partnership with Audi into a crossborder, group-wide collaboration. This project organisation allowed the skills from the sites in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and Esparreguera to be pooled together on behalf of the Audi brand group.
The goal was to form a mixed project team of experienced engineers, half from the Bertrandt German sites and half from its Spanish company. The new structures and procedures were carefully tested and the differing approaches of the members of the international team were taken into account. This project organisation helped make it possible to transfer Bertrandt’s long-term experience on Audi projects to the Espar- reguera site, which is working on behalf of Seat and is located next door to the Seat plant in Martorell. This meant that the customer was given the best possible Audi A3 Sportback project support.

English as the project language, plus CAD
For the functional development in the FMVSS 201U field, there was a transfer of expertise from Bertrandt Ingolstadt to its Spanish counterpart. English was the language used in Bertrandt’s internal meetings, and initial fears of communication problems proved to be unfounded. Both German and English were spoken in dealings with the client, and discussions also took place around the drawing board or the CAD screen, because technology speaks a language of its own that every engineer understands. Around 40 Bertrandt employees were involved in the project and collaborated with the relevant departments at Audi to bring the product to production readiness in autumn 2003.

A true European
The result has been evident on the streets since September 2004: the Audi A3 Sportback. The experience of everyone involved in the project has demonstrated that the cross-border collaboration has produced highly successful results. Bertrandt is looking forward to the next project that will allow further collaboration.