Ambitious campaign announced despite economic challenges.
Forget Mercedes-Benz. Audi has BMW in its crosshairs as it seeks to overtake its German rival as the top luxury brand in the world. Audi announced today that it is investing more than 13 billion euros (US$17.186 billion) through 2016 to advance its operation, a capital campaign that will yield new models, upgrade technologies and open at least three new manufacturing plants.
The bulk of Audi’s capital campaign will be invested through 2016 and will update its current model line while expanding the same. The company, part of the Volkswagen Group, plans to concentrate on bringing lighter weight vehicles to the market and advancing its electrical mobility initiative.
Said Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at Audi AG, “We will keep investing large sums to pursue our growth strategy.” Those sums include more than 2 million euros annually on new technologies and products alone.
Much of Audi’s investment will be earmarked for updating facilities in Germany with its Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants receiving the upgrades. The company is also expanding its manufacturing plant in Gyor, Hungary, by bringing in a new press shop, a paint shop and a manufacturing shop. Its Chinese operations are also being updated and Audi will also gain its first North American plant when its San Jose Chaipa plant in Mexico comes online in 2016.
By 2020, the Audi brand wants to sell more than 2 million vehicles annually, enabling it to become the top selling premium brand in the world. The company’s investment in innovative technologies and new models will help it in its quest as the brand keeps its pedal to the metal globally.
In the U.S., Audi has much work to do to catch up the Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Through Nov. 2012, Autodata Corp. reports that Mercedes-Benz has moved 264,637 units to BMW’s 244,061. Audi has sold 124.469 vehicles or nearly double what the Lincoln brand has sold. The brand also trails Lexus and Cadillac in the U.S. premium segment.
Photo courtesy of Audi AG.