Audi grew in all regions of the world last year and increased its share of many markets. The company significantly surpassed its target of delivering 1.7 million cars. By the end of last year, Audi had delivered 1,741,100 automobiles to its customers, which is 10.5 percent more than in the previous year. Audi achieved record unit sales in 50 countries, including China and the United States.
AUDI AG once again increased the biggest investment program in its history: From 2015 until 2019, the company will invest €24 billion, which is €2 billion more than previously planned. 70 percent of the investment will flow into the development of new models and innovative technologies. A new generation of extremely fuel-efficient engines and alternative efficiency technologies will to help meet the strict CO2 limits worldwide. New features in the areas of connectivity and driver assistance are extending Audi’s technological leadership. At the same time, the company is expanding its global production network.
Audi is consistently pursuing a course of international expansion: In Mexico and Brazil, the brand is investing in new plants in order to fully utilize the growth potential on the American continent. In this way, the premium manufacturer will secure even more independence of exchange-rate fluctuations in the future. Construction of the new plant in San José Chiapa in Mexico marks a milestone within the Audi growth strategy. In this factory, Audi will produce the next generation of the Audi Q5 with a planned annual production of 150,000 units. Production will start in 2016. In the fall of 2014, Audi opened a 20,000-square-meter training center close to the plant, with the main objective of providing employees with qualifications relevant to the Audi Production System. In addition, the premium brand is currently training about 600 Mexican employees at its sites in Germany. In Brazil, Audi will start production of the Audi A3 Sedan* in 2015 and of the Audi Q3* in 2016. The site in Győr, Hungary, became a full manufacturing plant in 2013 with all the functions of automobile production. Audi builds the A3 Sedan*, the A3 Cabriolet* and the Audi TT* at this site. In addition to the site in Changchun, the Audi A3 Sportback* and the Audi A3 Sedan* drive off the assembly lines in Foshan, China. China continues to be the key market for Audi’s growth strategy. As of 2016, Audi will have a network of 14 automobile production plants in 12 countries, as well as three Ducati motorcycle factories.
The Audi family is growing: Worldwide, the Audi Group has meanwhile reached the record number of more than 80,000 employees (81,159 as of March 31, 2015). At the site in Ingolstadt, the company for the first time employs more than 40,000 people (41,061 as of March 31, 2015). At the site in Neckarsulm, 15,929 are now employed (as of March 31, 2015). Audi will continue growing in 2015: This year, the brand with the Four Rings will recruit more than 6,000 new employees worldwide and will once again train 760 young people in various occupations.
Audi is more popular than ever as an employer: This is demonstrated by recent surveys by consulting companies trendence and Universum Communications. In both rankings, Audi is once again the preferred employer for young engineers in Germany. And graduates of business administration just starting their careers put Audi in first place in the Young Professional Barometer 2014 carried out by Universum.
The Audi Group needs strong domestic plants for its international success: More than half of the planned investment will take place at the German sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. This is a clear commitment to Germany as a location for industrial production and is also underscored by the decision to produce the Audi Q1 model at the main plant in Ingolstadt as of 2016. As the available space is restricted in Ingolstadt, expansion in the neighboring region is necessary. A new plant has therefore been constructed about 30 kilometers east of Ingolstadt in Münchsmünster. This is where the company produces structural body parts made of die-cast aluminum, warm- and cold-formed pressed parts and suspension components with innovative technologies. Audi Neuburg, a new high-tech area, has been established west of Ingolstadt. This is where Audi driving experience carries out driving training courses for customers and guests and is the home of the Motorsport Competence Center, the new headquarters of Audi Sport. The go-ahead was given in April 2015 for a technology center to be constructed seven kilometers from the Ingolstadt plant: the Innovation Campus, also known as the IN-Campus. The city of Ingolstadt and Audi are together founding the company IN-Campus GmbH and the project company is to take over the 75-hectare site from Bayernoil by the middle of 2015. In the Böllinger Höfe industrial park in Heilbronn close to the Neckarsulm plant, the Audi R8* super sports car has been driving off the assembly lines since 2014; Audi also has a new, ultramodern logistics hall there.
Setting the pace with technological leadership:
- Audi is producing its first plug-in-hybrid model at the Ingolstadt plant. With the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, Audi offers electric mobility that is practical for every-day use. The combination of a powerful electric motor and an efficient 1.4-liter TFSI combustion engine offer a total range of more than 900 kilometers. And this is possible with minimal fuel consumption and extremely low CO2 emissions of just 35 grams per kilometer. The Audi A3 e-tron has a purely electric range – when it drives without any local emissions – of up to 50 kilometers. Audi produces approximately 50 Audi A3 e-tron cars a day, on the same lines and at the same speed as the other Audi A3 models. Assembly of the plug-in hybrid is integrated into the A3 line with maximum safety for the employees. The Audi A3 e-tron is the start of the e-tron strategy: Audi will now launch another e-tron model every year.
- Lapping the Hockenheimring racetrack on the limits at up to 240 kilometers per hour without a driver– since that legendary demonstration in October 2014, the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept has shown an impressive performance. Audi engineers have been working on this piloted technology prototype for over ten years. In early 2015, the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept then traveled approximately 900 kilometers through the United States, from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the largest of its kind in the world.
- The Audi A7 Sportback h-tron shows a glimpse of the future. Audi presented this study at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2014. It has an electric drive system on board with fuel cells as energy supply in combination with a lithium-ion battery and an additional electric motor in the rear of the car. The Audi A7 h-tron can travel more than 500 kilometers on a tank of hydrogen.
- Audi sets new standards for the Audi design language with the Audi prologue concept study. It was shown to the public for the first time in Los Angeles in November 2014 under the title of “The force within.” This study was penned by the new Head of Design, Mark Lichte.
- Audi is extending its leadership in the field of automotive lighting with a new lighting assistance center at the Ingolstadt site. Vehicles can drive into the underground light tunnel, which is the longest of its kind in Europe with a length of 120 meters. It offers new possibilities specifically for the development of innovative lighting solutions and camera-based lighting assistance systems.
- Through the Audi Urban Future Initiative, Audi supports innovative projects for the city of the future: The winner of the Audi Urban Future Award in 2014 was a team from Mexico with the idea of creating an operating system for urban mobility. On the basis of the data, cities will be able to control their transport planning in line with requirements.