Audi Tradition takes design milestones to Techno Classica

The Swabian brand NSU was a ground-breaking company from the times of the German economic upturn following the Second World War and, in 1955, it became the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. In 1957 – after almost 30 years of absence from automobile construction – NSU presented their first new model on four wheels at the Frankfurt motor show: the NSU Prinz. The smart compact car for four people had an air-cooled two-cylinder engine with 20 hp and a displacement of 583 cc. Due to the great success of the car, the company later released two sporty models – the NSU 1000 (1964) and NSU TT (1965). Both of the vehicles were used in motorsports and were especially successful in the mountain races which were very popular at the time. In 1967, the Neckarsulm-based company presented the most powerful of their TT models on the Hockenheimring: the NSU TTS. Its 996 cc rear-mounted engine delivered 70 hp and accelerated the 700-kilogram (1543.2 lb) car to a proud 165 km/h (102.5 mph). With the “Speed kit” available ex works for use in races, the TTS engine’s output could even be brought up to 85 hp.

At this year’s Techno Classica, AUDI AG’s historic division will present an NSU Prinz 30 (built in 1962), an NSU Sport Prinz (built in 1964) and an NSU 1000 TTS (built in 1970). A further star on the stand is the NSU Ro 80. In Essen, Audi Tradition will have two cars from this model series on show, built in 1969 and 1977 respectively. The NSU Ro 80 with a twin-rotor Wankel engine was presented to the public at the 1967 IAA in Frankfurt after five years of development work. In the same year, the Ro 80 was the first German vehicle to receive the “Car of the Year” accolade from an international jury. It was chosen because the vehicle set new standards for the road position, as well as for its safety, comfort and performance. What’s more, its futuristic, wedge-shaped body line was a true milestone in automotive design. The NSU Ro 80 was produced at the Neckarsulm plant between 1967 and 1977. In those ten years, 37,406 units rolled off the production line. The Ro 80 was the biggest, most avant-garde model produced by NSU, but it was also its last car. 1969 saw Volkswagen AG initiate the fusion of the company with Ingolstadt-based Auto Union GmbH to form Audi NSU Auto Union AG. Subsequently, in 1985, this union became AUDI AG as we know it today.

Audi Tradition will be displaying these automotive gems in hall 7 on a 350-square-meter (3767.4 sq ft) area. Lovers and collectors of miniature models can also obtain this year’s model there: a limited production run of 333 NSU Ro 80 models with an orange paint finish in the scale 1:43. Further classic vehicles from the company’s history will be presented by the members of the ACI (Audi Club International) in hall 7.1. Over the Techno Classica’s five days, around 200,000 visitors are expected.

World Champion Ekström attacks again with Audi

Ekström is more than just a race driver. Since 2014, he has been a team boss as well, a dual role he could not imagine for a long time, especially in rallycross. “When I was a young boy my father was competing in rallycross, but it took me a long time to develop any enthusiasm for this sport. Rallycross was always too dirty for me,” relates Ekström. Running as a guest entrant in the 2013 European Rallycross Championship at Höljes, Sweden, changed his opinion. ”I finished second and decided to return and win.” Together with friends, partners and longstanding companions he began to put his plan into action.

What followed was a long road, packed with passion and sacrifice, toward a success story that nearly reads like a fairy tale. On June 14, 2014, Ekström makes his racing debut in a World RX round in the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro. And only three weeks later, in his home round at Höljes, he actually mounts the very top of the winners’ rostrum. Finally, 857 days following his premiere, he puts on the World Champion’s crown early. “What my team and I built within that period of time is incredible,” says Ekström. By now, his outfit employs about 25 people – including mechanics, race engineers, a media team and chef Jonas Landmark, who has even served the Swedish King before. “I personally selected all the team members,” says team boss Ekström. “That’s very important for me. All of them are experts in their field and friends as well. They think the way I do and know how to jointly celebrate success: with passion, commitment and, above all, fun.”

Thanks to factory support from AUDI AG, the EKS project continues this year. “We realize that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for EKS to stand its ground against the Ford, Peugeot and Volkswagen factory teams and the other competitors, so we decided to intensify our commitment in the World Rallycross Championship,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. In the 2017 season, EKS will be on the grid with three Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars for the first time. “Together with Audi Sport we worked hard to field three cars. I’m very happy that we made this happen,” says Ekström who, together with the Finn Toomas Heikkinen and new signing Reinis Nitišs from Latvia, forms the driver trio. But an additional car means more work for Ekström as well – a challenge he tackles with a spring in his step.

Audi a strong partner in the 16/17 winter sports season

Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher were the stars of this Audi FIS Ski World Cup season. While the Austrian received the huge crystal ball trophy for first place for already the sixth time in a row, winning the World Cup is a premiere for the 22-year-old American. The last rounds in Aspen last weekend were also the last in the 15th season in which Audi has been the title sponsor of the international competitions. Even off the slopes, the brand is present with its logo and offers an extensive program for fans and athletes. 

Audi was also involved in the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in St. Moritz, accompanying as a presenting sponsor. It was already the eighth World Championships under the banner of the four rings. This year, there was excellent atmosphere once again: a total of 160,000 visitors witnessed the eleven title deciders live. 2,000 guests were impressed by the advantages of the all-wheel drive quattro on snow and ice at the Audi driving experience. Every evening, the Audi Lounge at the Kulm Park of St. Moritz was the hot meeting place for medalists, media and guests.

Audi was official sponsor at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti. The partnership with the World Cup is part of the extensive commitment to Nordic winter sports. Since 2013, Audi has been the main sponsor of the Nordic Combined World Cup, and since the 2014/2015 season it has been a partner of the FIS Cross-Country Skiing and Ski Jumping World Cup. The Four Hills Tournament at the turn of the year was also held under the banner of the four rings.

The second edition of the Audi quattro Ski Cup was also a complete success. At the invitation of Audi, amateurs experienced a real world cup feeling. Some 3,000 customers and skiing hobbyists from Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland participated. The world finale with 200 participants will take place in Madonna di Campiglio (Italy) next weekend. Then, prominent team captains such as the ex-skiers Markus Wasmeier and Didier Cuche will accompany the finalists in the individual and team competitions.

For a sixth year, Audi has also accompanied the FIS Ski Cross World Cup as the title sponsor. The discipline was particularly popular with young winter sport fans. The protagonists this season: the two Canadians Marielle Thompson and Brady Leman. They won the overall World Cup, during which the athletes jumping over an Audi R8 in the final in Blue Mountain, Canada was a special highlight.

Another highlight on the Audi winter sports calendar is still to come: the season finale of the spectacular Freeride World Tour. The fifth and last stop will be held like every season in Verbier, Switzerland. This year it will be held in the first week of April. Audi has been an official partner of the Tour since 2013.

In addition, Audi supports the athletes of the international winter sports also away from the official competitions. The brand is the sponsor and car partner of the alpine teams from Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. Some of these teams regularly train at the Audi Wind Tunnel Center in Ingolstadt. In addition, athletes are frequently taking part in an Audi driving experience on snow or in the headquarters of the Audi Motorsport Department in Neuburg an der Donau.

Audi Hungaria: solid results for 2016

With revenue amounting to €7,136 million, Audi Hungaria is one of the largest and highest-revenue enterprises in the country as well as one of its major exporters. The company has been restructured to make it even more efficient going forward: The former AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. now operates under the name of AUDI HUNGARIA Zrt.

“Despite a challenging environment, we managed to achieve solid production and financial figures in 2016. That performance underscores the company’s strength and creates strong foundations for the future,” declared Peter Kössler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI HUNGARIA Zrt. “We will be placing an even stronger focus on digitalization, electrification and sustainability from now on. We will maintain the push towards our objectives with our high-performing team in 2017.”

To flank its new corporate strategy announced in the summer, last year the Audi Group kicked off the SPEED UP! measures program. This is aimed at also enhancing cost and process efficiency at Audi Hungaria, equipping the company for the future while also improving profitability.

Audi Hungaria continued to invest in the Győr site in 2016, giving particular emphasis to the production starts of various new engine versions and to preparations for the new model, the Audi Q3. Since the company was established the total investment volume has amounted to over € 8,300 million, making Audi Hungaria the automotive industry’s biggest investor in Hungary.

With 1,926,638 engines built, Audi Hungaria is the world’s largest engine manufacturer and supplies some 30 Volkswagen Group sites. The broad performance range of the Győr-built engines extends from 63 kW (86 hp) to 449 kW (610 hp). Last year, the engine production workforce successfully handled 14 launches and celebrated an important landmark: Audi Hungaria built its 30 millionth engine. The anniversary power unit was a sporty five-cylinder engine with 400 hp of output.

The automotive production operations built 122,975 automobiles of the brand with the four rings. The Audi Hungaria workforce is currently responsible for full production of the models Audi A3 Sedan, A3 Cabriolet, TT Coupé and Roadster. Two success stories from Győr – the Audi A3 Sedan and the A3 Cabriolet – were renewed in 2016. Volume production of the new, sporty Audi TT RS Coupé and Roadster commenced. The company also reached a major milestone in automotive production: Its workers completed the one millionth automobile in Győr, an Audi TT RS Coupé.

Technical Development broadened its skill set further: Development of the first Audi engine able to run on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline was spearheaded by Audi Hungaria. The company installed a special test rig in Győr to enable testing of the CNG engines. The Hungarian site is consequently the first in the Audi Group to have this technology at its disposal. In the total vehicle development area Audi Hungaria expanded the test facility for strength analysis so that it can investigate various engine and vehicle components. The new total vehicle test rig also enables the experts to analyze and optimize vehicle acoustics, strength and driving characteristics.

Each year the Audi Hungaria toolmaking shop produces 300,000 body components and assemblies for 25 exclusive and sports models of the Audi and Volkswagen Group, including the Audi RS 6 and Audi R8. The company is now enlarging the toolmaking shop to create more capacity for future projects: Construction work on the 15,000 square meter (161,458.7 square feet) extension began in 2016.

The company has implemented a raft of smart solutions in production, including human-robot collaboration. In this particular case, two robotic colleagues, Ádám and Éva, work hand in hand with their human colleagues in automotive production. With the help of motion capturing, the only movement tracking system of its kind in the world, workplaces and working processes are designed and optimized based on ergonomic criteria.

Audi Hungaria considers training future generations a top priority. The company’s dual vocational training system has already taught more than 1,800 young people their vocation. Two new training courses – automotive maintenance technician and alternative drives technician – were added to the training portfolio in 2016. The company supports education from the very start, for example through the expansion of the Audi Hungaria School.

University partnerships are another important pillar of the company’s human resources strategy. In cooperation with Széchenyi István University, Audi Hungaria launched a dual degree program with students initially offered two subject areas in automotive engineering; electrical engineering was added in September 2016.

The premium manufacturer promotes the region’s social, cultural and sporting life. The company is partner to the handball team Győri Audi ETO KC, the dance troupe Győri Balett and the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra. Audi Hungaria also supports and initiates an array of social projects in the region.

“2017 has got off to an exciting start here: Our brand-new model, the sporty Audi RS 3 Sedan, went into production just a few days ago. Preparations for the production start of the electric motors and the new Győr-built car model, the Audi Q3, are progressing in parallel. So I am very confident about the future,” added Kössler.

An electric competence center has already been established at Audi Hungaria as the volume production facility for the electric motors. Its specialists possess the expertise required for volume production. The company is also erecting an 80,000 square meter (861,112.8 square feet) hall for body manufacturing of the Audi Q3, which will be built in Győr in the future.

Race track debut for the new Audi RS 5 DTM

The red-black Playboy livery in which youngster Nico Müller will showcase on the 2017 DTM grid was not the only feature to attract attention during the tests. In Italy, Audi also premiered the homologated bodywork of the third-generation RS 5 DTM which, compared with the variant shown in Geneva, sports additional, innovative detailed solutions.

“It was important for us to drive the final car in this last pre-season development test and to make optimum use of the few test days available to us in the DTM,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “That’s why we’re very happy to have found perfect external conditions at Vallelunga and being able to drive for three days without any issues worth mentioning.”

Mattias Ekström, the most successful Audi DTM campaigner of all time with 22 victories and two championship titles under his belt, drove the car in its maiden outing. The Swede reeled off no less than 760 kilometers in the process. “An impressive number for a new car,” said Ekström. “We tried out a lot of different things: short stints, long runs, qualifying simulations and many different set-up variants. The new DTM cars are definitely more demanding in terms of driving skills. Plus, finding a perfect set-up compromise for the softer tires and the changed aerodynamics is a great challenge. The season is going to be packed with excitement for sure!”  

Claudio Domenicali

Claudio Domenicali (born in 1965) gained his degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Bologna in 1991 and straight away joined Ducati as the Supermono Project Manager. As a young engineer, he was in charge of the development of this single-cylinder racing bike, only 67 of which were produced and which has become an authentic cult item for Ducatisti and motorcyclists from all over the world.

In 1994 he became the Ducati Design Department Manager, coordinating the engine and vehicle designers for the definition of new products and three years later he took on the role of Deputy Technical Manager at the company. Domenicali, who’s a great fan of racing, was appointed as CEO of Ducati Corse, the racing division of Ducati, in 1999, the same year it was created. Under his leadership, Ducati has won numerous Superbike titles and joined the MotoGP championship in 2003, winning the title of world champion in 2007 with the Australian rider Casey Stoner.

Whilst maintaining his responsibilities as CEO of Ducati Corse, Claudio Domenicali also took on the role of product R&D manager in 2005 and, the following year, was appointed Product and Product Development General Manager. Thanks to his experience and skills gained, Domenicali played an important role in the reorganisation and relaunch of the company, adding Quality of Operations Control tasks (purchasing, logistics, production and general services) to the role of Product Manager. The total number of staff under this position is approximately 750, added to the 100 or so employees of Ducati Corse, which in the meantime has become a division of Ducati Motor Holding rather than a company in its own right.

In 2009 Domenicali, still in the role of Product and Product Development General Manager, was invited to join the board of directors at Ducati Motor Holding and in 2012, following the company’s acquisition by the Audi group, his position in both roles was confirmed. In 2013, thanks to his managerial talents, in-depth knowledge of the company and passion for Ducati motorcycles (which still today he likes to test personally before their launch onto the market) he was appointed CEO of Ducati Motor Holding.

Fired up for the new season: the young drivers in the Audi Sport TT Cup

Seven weeks before the Audi Sport TT Cup season opens at Hockenheim from May 5 to 7, the current driver field for the 2017 season began its training program. In the areas of fitness and teambuilding, the young talents completed a schedule of activities consisting of professional performance diagnostics, training recommendations and fitness units, and were provided with insight into the basics of sports medicine. Besides the three Britons Jack Manchester, Finlay Hutchison and Philip Ellis, the Spaniard Mikel Azcona, the German Simon Wirth, the Dutchman Milan Dontje, the Italian Tommaso Mosca and the Swiss Yannik Brandt took part in the camp. Also on this year’s grid are two women, the Hungarian Vivien Keszthelyi and Fabienne Wohlwend from Liechtenstein. Keagan Masters from South Africa and Drew Ridge from Australia had traveled the longest distance to take part in the camp. 

The nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen visited the training camp in the Allgäu as well. The Dane welcomed the juniors, provided input to their fitness training and talked about his own career during a presentation. Following the camp, the young drivers from ten countries are traveling directly on to Audi Neuburg where experts in the field of race preparation are going to explain the utilization of data, the technical background and the handling of the race car in theory and practice. Subsequently, the juniors will have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in the cockpit of the near-340-HP Audi TT cup car. At that time, two more Cup participants, Kevin Arnold and Mike Beckhusen, will be joining them in Neuburg. 

“We look forward to the 2017 year group – with many international talents on the grid once again,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “By the time of our season preparation course at Hockenheim on April 11 and 12 we will have signed the last agreements and are then going to announce a complete entry list. We’re expecting an exciting season with plenty of variety on the podium.”

Audi sales in February down slightly year-on-year

“We see huge opportunities for the future in China, as the world’s leading market for sales, digitization and e-mobility,” says Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “We are preparing our business model for these opportunities and intend to take far-reaching, sustainable decisions with our partners. In so doing we are taking a challenging, yet important step.” 

In January, Audi decided with its joint venture partner FAW to intensify the joint collaboration in China as part of a strategic growth plan. The agreement envisages, among other things, extending the locally produced portfolio with further electrified models. In the second step, the operational implementation of the future agenda is now to be defined with the Chinese dealers. Furthermore, Audi is looking at future collaboration with SAIC in a potential second joint venture in order to open up further market potential. “This phase of far-reaching strategic structural decisions will still take some time. The top priority for us is to further develop the Chinese business profitably for all partners,” says Voggenreiter. Meanwhile, the Chinese dealers reported 32,155 delivered automobiles for the month of February, 5.8 percent less than one year ago, following a sharp drop in sales in January compared with 2016.

By contrast, Audi sales grew in Europe, where around 66,400 deliveries in February exceeded the 2016 figure by 1.9 percent. The brand achieved substantial gains especially in southern Europe: In Spain, sales rose by another 7.1 percent to 4,949 units and in Italy even by 29.9 percent to 6,125 customers in the month. With the new Q2, Audi is successfully attracting an above-average number of new customers in both markets; Italy is currently the largest export market for the city SUV. Across all models, the constant growth over the past few months for Audi was also maintained in the German domestic market (+1.8% to 29,017 cars) in February. In the United Kingdom, by contrast, the local generation changeover for the right-hand-drive versions of the Audi Q5 and the A5 Sportback left its mark. 5,203 units sold in the United Kingdom was 2.8 percent below the previous year’s figure. Business in Europe continued to be dampened by the market weakness in Russia: down 22.9 percent to 1,350 automobiles in February.

Among all markets, the United States achieved the largest growth in terms of sales volume most recently. 13,741 customers in total decided to buy a model from Audi of America in February, up 17.3 percent compared with the same month in 2016. Demand for the Q7 continues to be particularly high in the U.S. market: The full-size SUV saw sales rise in February by 49.8 percent to 2,477 units, thus climbing into second spot of the bestselling Audi models in the United States since the start of the year. Across all Q models, Audi’s SUV sales increased last month by 35.8 percent to 6,874 U.S. customers. Sales of the A4 also increased further in February to counter the market downturn in the sedan segment, with the model achieving a 30.1 percent increase to 2,377 deliveries in the United States. In Canada, sales of the A4 rose to more than double the previous year’s figure (+132.2 percent to 418 A4 models), on the back of a similar jump in January. Total sales across the entire portfolio also proved very positive in February for Audi Canada: 1,970 cars sold once more represent high growth of 27.8 percent.

In March, the new Audi A5 Coupé will be premiered in the United States and Canada. The United States has been the largest global sales market for the first generation of the model. The sporty Audi Coupé has captured two thirds of its U.S. drivers as new customers for the brand.    

By contrast, Audi sales grew in Europe, where around 66,400 deliveries in February exceeded the 2016 figure by 1.9 percent. The brand achieved substantial gains especially in southern Europe: In Spain, sales rose by another 7.1 percent to 4,949 units and in Italy even by 29.9 percent to 6,125 customers in the month. With the new Q2, Audi is successfully attracting an above-average number of new customers in both markets; Italy is currently the largest export market for the city SUV. Across all models, the constant growth over the past few months for Audi was also maintained in the German domestic market (+1.8% to 29,017 cars) in February. In the United Kingdom, by contrast, the local generation changeover for the right-hand-drive versions of the Audi Q5 and the A5 Sportback left its mark. 5,203 units sold in the United Kingdom was 2.8 percent below the previous year’s figure. Business in Europe continued to be dampened by the market weakness in Russia: down 22.9 percent to 1,350 automobiles in February.

Among all markets, the United States achieved the largest growth in terms of sales volume most recently. 13,741 customers in total decided to buy a model from Audi of America in February, up 17.3 percent compared with the same month in 2016. Demand for the Q7 continues to be particularly high in the U.S. market: The full-size SUV saw sales rise in February by 49.8 percent to 2,477 units, thus climbing into second spot of the bestselling Audi models in the United States since the start of the year. Across all Q models, Audi’s SUV sales increased last month by 35.8 percent to 6,874 U.S. customers. Sales of the A4 also increased further in February to counter the market downturn in the sedan segment, with the model achieving a 30.1 percent increase to 2,377 deliveries in the United States. In Canada, sales of the A4 rose to more than double the previous year’s figure (+132.2 percent to 418 A4 models), on the back of a similar jump in January. Total sales across the entire portfolio also proved very positive in February for Audi Canada: 1,970 cars sold once more represent high growth of 27.8 percent.          

In March, the new Audi A5 Coupé will be premiered in the United States and Canada. The United States has been the largest global sales market for the first generation of the model. The sporty Audi Coupé has captured two thirds of its U.S. drivers as new customers for the brand.    

Sales for
AUDI AG

In February

Cumulative 

2017

2016

Change from 2016

2017

2016

Change from 2016

World

125,100

126,497

-1.1%

249,100

269,769

-7.7%

Europe

66,400

65,156

+1.9%

128,200

125,072

+2.5%

– Germany

29,017

28,507

+1.8%

51,944

50,340

+3.2%

– UK

5,203

5,355

-2.8%

16,956

17,301

-2.0%

– France

5,254

5,262

-0.2%

9,658

9,487

+1.8%

– Italy

6,125

4,715

+29.9%

11,129

8,970

+24.1%

– Spain

4,949

4,619

+7.1%

9,877

8,875

+11.3%

USA

13,741

11,718

+17.3%

26,942

23,568

+14.3%

Mexico

1,086

1,208

-10.1%

2,197

2,386

-7.9%

Brazil

630

1,326

-52.5%

1,465

2,710

-45.9%

China
(incl. Hong Kong)

32,155

34,152

-5.8%

67,336

88,554

-24.0%

Audi sets strategic path in challenging year 2016

“2016 was a very challenging year for our company,” stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, at the Annual Press Conference this Wednesday, “but we completed it with robust earnings from our core business and set our course for the future.” The brand plans to launch three battery-electric models by the year 2020 and to electrify additional model series after that. As part of its electric initiative, Audi has already trained more than 6,000 employees to work with high-voltage technology over the past three years. Audi is also involved in the development of a public fast-charging infrastructure.

Audi, as the lead developer in the Volkswagen Group, is also accelerating with the technology for self-driving cars. A newly founded subsidiary, Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH in Munich, is working on a system for autonomous vehicles in cities. The technology is to be applicable in the models of various brands and is also a key component of mobility services conceivable for the future, such as robot taxis. The company is open to cooperation with further strong partners in the automotive and IT sectors.

At the same time, Audi is further developing assisted and piloted systems for other traffic situations, such as on highways or country roads. In the new Audi A8, customers will for the first time be able to use Level 3 automated driving functions in traffic jams at speeds up to 60 km/h.

Audi will significantly rejuvenate its model portfolio in the coming years. In addition to the launch of the Audi A8, new generations of important volume models such as the Q5 and A5 will successively be launched into the markets in 2017. Furthermore, the Audi Q2 will become available in additional international markets. In 2018, Audi will strengthen its top-end lineup with the second generation of the Audi A7. In the same year, the Audi Q8 will supplement the successful SUV family. And another new model is planned for 2019: the Audi Q4, a sporty compact utility vehicle.

Last year, Audi increased its worldwide deliveries by 3.6 percent to the new record of 1,867,738 automobiles (2015: 1,803,246). Unit sales benefited above all from strong demand for the Audi Q7 and A4 models. The revenue of the Audi Group increased in 2016 – despite an unfavorable currency environment – by 1.5 percent to €59,317 million (2015: €58,420 million).

“The quality of our ongoing business is apparent from the operating return on sales before special items,” stated Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Finance and IT. “With a result of 8.2 percent, we are within our target corridor of 8 to 10 percent despite challenging conditions and higher advance expenditure.” The result for the previous year was 8.8 percent. Operating profit before special items amounted to €4,846 million in 2016 (2015: €5,134 million).

As a special item, the Audi Group recognized provisions of €1,632 million in 2016 to resolve the V6 3.0 TDI diesel issue in the United States (2015: €228 million). It also reported a special item of €162 million (2015: €70 million) in connection with possibly defective Takata airbags. The bottom line shows operating profit for the year 2016 of €3,052 million (2015: €4,836 million) and an operating return on sales of 5.1 percent (2015: 8.3 percent).

The Audi Group earned profit before income taxes of €3,047 million (2015: €5,284 million). The decrease compared with the previous year reflects not only the special items, but also the lower financial result.

The Audi employees will participate in the company’s success once again this year. In consultation with the General Works Council, employees paid according to wage-tariff agreements at the sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm will receive an average bonus of €3,510 (2015: €5,420). For Audi subsidiaries, respective arrangements for bonus payments have been established.

The Audi Group financed advance expenditure for the future out of its own resources. In 2016, the company had capital expenditure of €3.4 billion (2015: €3.5 billion) while generating a significantly positive net cash flow of €2.1 billion (2015: €1.6 billion). Net liquidity at December 31, 2016 amounted to €17.2 billion (December 31, 2015: €16.4 billion), providing further evidence of the company’s high self-financing capability.

To support the new corporate strategy announced last summer, Audi also started its SPEED UP! package of measures in 2016. “In this way, we will continue systematically increasing our process and cost efficiency in 2017,” said Strotbek. “This will help us to achieve our profitability targets and to generate the funds required for our path of innovation and investment.”

The Audi Group plans capital expenditure in a volume equivalent to 5.0 to 5.5 percent of total revenue this year. The ratio of R&D expenditure to revenue is expected to be slightly above the company’s strategic target corridor of 6.0 to 6.5 percent. The net cash flow should be positive once again, but is likely to be significantly below the prior-year level due to the cash flows expected in connection with the diesel issue. The Audi Group anticipates slight growth in the number of cars delivered as well as in revenue this year. With regard to operating return on sales, the company aims to achieve a result between 8 and 10 percent once again. The forecast for return on investment is between 15 and 18 percent. 

Save the date: Live stream of the Audi Annual Press Conference 2017

The Annual Press Conference 2017 begins at 10 a.m. at the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt and will be broadcasted including Q&A live on Audi MediaTV and via SmartTV using the Audi MediaTV app. Recordings and footage of the Press Conference will be available after the event ends at Audi MediaTV.

The live stream of the Annual Press Conference is also available for embedding on external media platforms.

The MediaInfo for the Annual Press Conference will be available from 10 a.m., and the press release on sales in February 2017 will be available from 10:30 a.m. in the Audi MediaCenter.

2017 Annual Press Conference of AUDI AG
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
10:00 a.m. (CEST)

  • on Audi MediaTV: www.audimedia.tv
  • via Smart TV using the Audi MediaTV app
  • Recordings on the Twitter channel of AUDI AG