At Audi’s Annual General Meeting yesterday in Neckarsulm, Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG said that Audi plans to launch three new electric models by 2020, after which the brand will gradually electrify models in each of its core series. First up will be the production version of the e-tron quattro SUV, due next year. (Earlier post.)
Stadler, whose was just reappointed as Chairman of the Board of Management for another five years, said that Audi will renew five existing core model series by mid-2018. “In addition, we will expand our successful Q family by 2019 with two new concepts—the Audi Q8 and the Audi Q4—and we will launch our battery-electric e-tron models.”
The focus this year is on top-end models with the new generations of the Audi A8 and Audi A7. The premium manufacturer will unveil the A8 at the first Audi Summit to be held in Barcelona on 11 July.
Audi says that it is systematically utilizing Group synergies in order to implement topics of the future even faster and more efficiently. In April, the brand agreed on new development cooperation with Porsche for future vehicle architectures. (Earlier post.) This will result in potential cost savings across the brands in a three-digit million amount each year.
Part of the cooperation is the development of shared premium architecture for electrification—an effective lever to enhance the competitiveness of electric cars. By 2025, Audi intends to achieve a proportion of one-third fully or partially electric models in its unit sales.
In addition to the traditional car business, the premium brand will expand its range of digital services in the future. With myAudi, the company aims to create a consistent entry into the brand’s digital world and establish a platform for a wide range of online services, which will be open also for third-party providers to offer services. Audi is also expanding its mobility services for urban areas and intends to offer them in more than 15 markets worldwide by the end of this decade.
With a subsidiary founded in March 2017, Audi will take over the leading role within the Volkswagen Group in the development of autonomous driving. Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH is working on the technology for driverless vehicles in urban environments, which will be applicable in models of various brands. The technology is to be ready for application in a first small series of cars early in the next decade.
In the first quarter of 2017, the Audi Group achieved an operating profit of more than €1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion). With an operating return on sales of 8.7%, the company met its profitability target. The net cash flow increased to more than €1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion).
In full-year 2017, the company intends to slightly increase deliveries of Audi-brand cars compared with the number of 1,867,738 automobiles delivered in 2016. Revenue should also slightly surpass the prior-year level of €59.3 billion (US$66 billion).
In terms of operating return on sales, following the 5.1% of last year, Audi now plans to achieve its strategic target corridor of 8 to 10% once again. In 2016, operating profit was reduced by €1.8 billion (US$2 billion) and operating return on sales by 3.1 percentage points due to special items in connection with the diesel crisis and Takata airbags.