Audi is entering a new era: The turbulent 2017 financial year was marked by changes. Now the company is preparing for the increasing challenges of the digital age. Against the background of the diesel crisis, Audi is intensifying its sustainability activities.
Audi sees a successful finish to 2017 with a new sales record of 1,878,100 cars sold. In 2017, the brand with the four rings sold more than in the previous year in all three core markets: In the USA, Audi registered new record sales month after month. In China, the company was able to achieve a slight plus, while in Germany the sales continued at the very high level of 2016. The growth in 2017 was supported by the worldwide increasing demand for the Q models – more than one in three Audi vehicles sold is a sporty off-road vehicle.
The electrification offensive has begun, with the objective that one in three Audi vehicles sold by the middle of the next decade will be an electric car. The “Ionity” joint venture was created in cooperation with other car manufacturers. The objective is to establish a fast-charging network along the main traffic routes in Europe. 2018 is the year of the Audi e-tron, the first electric car from the premium brand. A sporty SUV with a range suitable for everyday use and the performance of a typical Audi. Audi will electrify around 20 models by the mid 2020s, half of which will be strictly electric.
Digitalization, sustainability and urban mobility are the pillars of the new corporate strategy. Audi is in the middle of its transformation into a digital premium car company offering comprehensive solutions for individual premium mobility.
With 91,440 employees, the workforce of the Audi Group reached a new record high in 2017 (as of: March 31, 2018). 44,203 of these employees work at the Ingolstadt site and 16,883 at the Neckarsulm site. The company has extended the job guarantee for employees of AUDI AG until 2025. Modern working concepts, such as mobile working, interactive communication formats and progressive health management are accompanying the change in the working world. Audi supports further education with more than half a billion euros, especially in the areas of digitalization and electric mobility.
Audi is a leader in conditional automated driving. The premium brand is driving this key technology: With the four-door design study Audi Aicon, the brand with the four rings presents a fully self-driving Audi of the future – with no steering wheel or pedals. In addition to this, the new Audi A8* sets a new benchmark for the competition with over 40 driver assistance systems. It is the worldwide first production car to have been developed especially for conditional automated driving.
Audi models are made at twelve manufacturing sites in ten countries. The plant in San José Chiapa in Mexico is running at full steam: The most technologically advanced automotive factory in the country produced over 150,000 Audi Q5* units for the global market in 2017. The production network of the Audi Group also includes the Lamborghini and Ducati factories in Italy. The Italian supercar manufacturer delivered 3,815 cars to customers worldwide in the past year and continued its global growth for the seventh year running. The Lamborghini Urus* was the first SSUV (super sports utility vehicle) to be added to the range. With 55,871 motorcycles sold, Ducati also exceeded its result from the previous year and has registered a stable upward trend for the past eight years.
- As of 2018, Audi Brussels manufactures the first electric SUV exclusively for the global market. The Brussels plant has established its own battery assembly shop for the production of these electric cars.
- AudiChina is starting local production of the Audi Q2 L. Together with partner FAW-Volkswagen, four fully electric models will be manufactured in the next four years.
- Meanwhile, Audi Hungaria has added electric motors to its range. With the Audi Q3*, the Hungarian factory will also be manufacturing its first SUV this year. A new 80,000-square meter (861,112.8 sq ft) body shop was built for the production of the Audi Q3*.
Strong domestic sites are a precondition for international success.
- Audi Ingolstadt is the largest production site in the Audi Group.Ingolstadt serves as headquarters, lead plant and high-tech site with electric-vehicle competence. At the beginning of the next decade, two electric cars are planned for Ingolstadt, a clear commitment to the home location. In 2017, Ingolstadt extended its environmentally friendly repertoire with the Audi A4 Avant g-tron* and the Audi A5 Sportback g-tron*.
- Audi Ingolstadt is an innovation powerhouse with five sites in the region:
- Audi headquarters with lead plant and technical development
- System/module manufacturing in Münchsmünster
- Audi Neuburg with the Audi driving experience and Competence Center Motorsport/Audi Sport
- Future IN‑Campus technology park
- A sustainable, digital factory of the future is being built at the Ingolstadt site:
- Production is highly flexible, intelligent, connected and ergonomic.
- Audi Toolmaking has as competence center for metal 3D printing.
- Robots relieve and support the employees.
- Flexible logistics concepts increase flexibility.
- Startups serve as a bridgehead for creative solutions.
- CO2-neutral production is the long-term objective: clean cars from clean factories.
- In the next few years, the Neckarsulm site will be producing two electric cars for the Audi brand and a very sporty electric four-seater for the Audi Sport sub-brand, the Audi e-tron GT. Because fuel cells as energy sources are the next logical step in electric mobility, research into this topic meanwhile continues at full speed. Within the Volkswagen Group, Neckarsulm has taken on the development responsibility for this future key technology. In 2017, Audi opened a fuel cell competence center there with the concept of a project house.