Audi to Invest Billions into New Models and Technology Through 2019
Having started pretty much from the gutter — may I remind you that Audi even belonged to Daimler Benz for a while — the carmaker with the four rings is currently not only a force to be reckoned with in the big league, but actually wants to be the top dog. With that in mind, Audi recently announced that it is increasing its investment program, which was already the biggest in the automaker’s history.
Between 2015 and all the way through 2019, the ring-bearer will invest no less than 24 billion euros (approx. $29.1 billion as of 12/30/2014) in its expansion, with about 70 percent of the total money amount going directly to the development of both new models and technology. Audi’s main concern is to increase its market share and to meet increasingly stricter CO2-emission limits worldwide, with a lot of the focus directed toward expanding its portfolio from 50 to 60 models in the upcoming four years.
All-new models in the C and D segments, along with an expansion of the Q family of crossover/SUVs should do well enough in terms of increasing Audi’s market share, but that wouldn’t be possible without an increase in production capabilities. This is why the carmaker will redirect over half of the total investments in Germany, especially at the manufacturing plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, where the next-generation A8 is expected to be built starting in 2015.
Another subject is represented by a new generation of more fuel-efficient gasoline and diesel engines currently in the works, along with an increase in the development of plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell powertrains, two areas where the Ingolstadt manufacturer had been lagging behind Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s future plans.
Why it matters
With Audi being No. 2 in terms of worldwide sales in the premium segment, its chances of becoming the big kahuna by 2020 were beginning to look rather slim considering how BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been evolving in 2013 and 2014. With that being said, the Ingolstadt manufacturer expects to deliver 1.7 million cars by the end of 2014, breaking all its former records, but its two arch enemies haven’t been standing still either. This is why the announcement that it is further expanding its rather hefty investment program in the following years should mean good news. There is a problem with Audi’s plans of reaching the No. 1 status though.
As some of you know, the ring-bearer has been trailing both BMW and Mercedes-Benz in terms of sales in just about every market except China, where Audi has been keeping a steady foot since the 1990s. Unfortunately for it, both Stuttgart and Munich are expanding their presence in The Middle Kingdom, which means that the only market where Audi was king may be shrinking in the coming years. Not to mention that BMW and Mercedes will add more than 10 new models to each of their lineups by 2020 and their current sales are improving at a much faster rate than Audi’s. We will just have to wait and see, but the predictions aren’t exactly positive for Audi, despite its increased investment.