From 2015 through 2019, Audi plans to invest €24 billion (US$29 billion)—€2 billion (US$2.4 billion), or 9% more, more than in the previous planning period. 70 percent of the investment will flow into the development of new models and technologies. Audi aims to meet stringent CO2 limits worldwide with a new generation of extremely economical combustion engines and alternative efficiency technologies as well as new features in the areas of connectivity and driver assistance.
Audi also plans to create additional production capacities worldwide in the next five years through large-scale investment. More than half of the planned investment will take place at the German sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.
We place top priority on sustainable growth. That’s why we are making large investments in the innovative areas of electric mobility, connectivity and lightweight construction.—Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO) of Audi AG
The total investment volume of €24 billion comprises approximately €17 billion (US$20.7 billion) of investment in property, plant and equipment and €7 billion (US$8.5 billion) of capitalized development costs.
In order to meet ambitious CO2 limits, the company is working not only on the next generation of fuel-efficient gasoline and diesel engines, but also on plug-in hybrids such as the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, which became available in the first markets at the end the year.
We are constantly further developing alternative drive systems and focusing above all on connecting the car with its digital environment. The car will communicate with the driver, the Internet, the infrastructure and other vehicles, while moving in an environmentally friendly manner.—Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s Board of Management Member for Technical Development
A few weeks ago, Audi presented the A7 Sportback h‑tron quattro concept car at the Los Angeles Motor Show, demonstrating that the premium manufacturer is also addressing fuel-cell technology. (Earlier post.) “We can move into the series-production stage as soon as justified by the market and infrastructure,” stated Hackenberg. By the end of the year 2020, the Ingolstadt-based company intends to expand its model portfolio from 50 to 60 models. A main focus will be on new models in the C and D segments. Audi also intends to expand the successful Q family. As of 2016, for example, the new Audi Q1 will be produced in Ingolstadt.
The production plant in Ingolstadt is already being prepared for new models. Extensive rebuilding work will start also in Neckarsulm in 2015, in order to prepare the plant for the next generation of the Audi A8 luxury sedan.
The workforce will also grow in the context of the investment in the main plants in Germany. In the past twelve months, Audi has recruited approximately 3,000 new employees in Germany alone.
Worldwide, the Audi Group’s workforce has now grown to the record size of 80,000 employees. In Mexico and Brazil, the company is investing in new plants so that it can fully utilize the growth potential of the American continent and also to be more independent of exchange-rate fluctuations in the future.
Audi opened a training center to provide qualifications to new employees in San José Chiapa in October. As well as the 1,200 people who have already been recruited, the company plans to take on board another 850 employees in Mexico alone next year. As of 2016, the Audi Q5 will drive off the assembly lines there.
Audi will reach the mark of 1.7 million cars delivered in 2014. By 2020, the company aims to be the premium brand number one on a sustainable basis.