Audi’s research and development center in China couldn’t be better placed. It’s right in the middle of Beijing’s trendy 798 Art District, a former military complex now dotted with galleries, design companies and cafes.
“We are the pioneers at Audi when it comes to the wishes of Asian customers,” said Saad Metz, the head of the development center. “And they are becoming more and more important.”
Mr. Metz, 49, manages a 250-strong team from 15 nations operating in various locations in Asia. He says partnering with top Chinese tech firms like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent is important. Developing technologies for Audi’s vehicles with the Chinese is a huge opportunity, he said.