Ladies and gentlemen,
We are very pleased to bring the new Audi A8 to Japan in spring 2014. The A8 is the sportiest premium sedan of the luxury segment. It will perfectly meet the expectations of our Japanese customers based on the specific traffic demand.
In Japan, we see a strong market for premium compact cars. Globally, premium compact cars are one of the fastest growing segments. We calculate with a 50 percent increase by 2020 worldwide. In fact, the demand in Japan is very encouraging.
So we launched the Audi A3 Sportback in September and will bring the Audi A3 Sedan to Japan in early 2014. The five-door A3 Sportback has a sporty layout, though it offers a lot of luggage capacity. Its quattro all-wheel drive system is available for a number of engine variants.
The A3 Sedan design combines a classic three-box concept with the dynamics of a coupé. The sporty A3 Sedan incorporates all characteristics of the A3 family: low weight thanks to dedicated lightweight construction, a powerful and highly efficient engine, advanced infotainment and driving assistance solutions, perfectly suited for true broadband performance applications such as navigation mapping, parking finder and read-aloud alerts – just to name a few. This is truly the next level of system integration. The A3 Sedan will add a new chapter to the success story of Audi premium compact cars in Japan.
The variety of the Audi A3 family is a perfect example for what we are able to achieve – thanks to our modular strategy. In particular, the modular transversal matrix and the modular longitudinal matrix support the effective and flexible roll-out of new model derivatives. And even more: Our modular strategy supports innovative technologies.
At Audi, we have a strong legacy in innovation. Audi is THE premium brand worldwide that has truly incorporated this value – it’s actually our brand DNA. Innovation leadership, customer focus and best-in-class efficiency are the key values of Audi. This is what I would like to talk about today: The innovation focus of Audi.
Reduced CO2 emissions will be the driving force for our industry. Efficient and balanced mobility is our mission. Across our portfolio, we optimize conventional drive systems and develop alternative drive technologies.
How will the mobility of the future look like? I tell you: We should simply listen to our customers. What do people expect from alternative drive systems? Emission-free driving should be possible in urban traffic and battery charging needs to be quick and easy. These cars need to support everyday mobility and long-distance or vacation trips shouldn’t be an issue. And most important: Cars with alternative drive systems need to be affordable and cost-effective. Plug-in hybrid vehicles perfectly meet all of these expectations.
The Audi A3 e-tron you see here on stage, is THE benchmark on our way to sustained mobility. It is a master model for driving pleasure, cost-effectiveness and excellent efficiency.
In Japan, we will launch the A3 e-tron in the first half of 2015.
In urban settings and in stop-and-go traffic situations -like almost everywhere in Japan- you switch to the electric mode and drive with zero emissions over a distance of 50 km.
Outside the city, you use the powerful combustion engine for unlimited mobility. In total, this allows for a consumption of only 1.5 l/100 km, minimal CO2 emissions of 35 g/km and a total driving range of 940 km without charging infrastructure. This is exactly the level of flexibility our customers are looking for.
Among the unique selling propositions of the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid, we also rank its best-in-class performance, its sporty and dynamic handling, its top quality and premium fitting. In other words: our alternative drive-technologies adhere exactly to the same performance and comfort levels customers may expect from any other Audi.
The A3 e-tron is truly a masterpiece of our modular strategy. At Audi, we are the inventors of the modular matrix technology and we are in the lead for the modular longitudinal matrix system.
In September, at the International Automobile Exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, we showcased the power of this engineering concept. The Audi Sport quattro concept, our plug-in hybrid car at 700 HP, was one of the eye-catchers of the event. Forthcoming, you will see a massive expansion of our e-tron offerings and other innovative drivetrain technologies. For our larger model families, we develop a combination of e-tron and four-wheel drive systems. Each of our cars will be a true Audi: Very sporty and emotional, very best quality – and each of them highly efficient and sustainable.
Having talked about quattro and plug-in hybrids, the R18 e-tron quattro race car you can see here on stage, tells a lot about the power of hybrid technology. It’s the first all-wheel driven hybrid race car. Since its historic victory at the 24 hours of Le Mans in summer 2012, the R18 e-tron quattro has clearly demonstrated a track record of success. 2013 has become one of Audi’s most successful years on the racetracks. Congratulations to our successful motorsport team!
Audi has a long and impressive legacy in motorsports that goes back to the 1980s. We consider motorsport as an excellent testing and learning lab for new technologies and materials. That’s how we optimize performance and driving dynamics as well as efficiency and sustainability.
As an engineer, I am personally 100 percent committed to the core brand value of Audi: “Vorsprung durch Technik”. So is my team worldwide. And so you will see a great variety of fascinating products in the future – based on high-tech combustion engines and alternative drive systems.
This is the promise of Audi. This is the future of mobility.
Thank you very much.