The new Audi A5 and Audi S5 Cabriolet

©
2017
by AUDI AG.
All rights reserved.

Further information about the official fuel consumption figures and official, specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Guide to fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new cars,” which is available free of charge from all sales outlets and from DAT (Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH), Hellmuth-Hirth-Strasse 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, Germany (http://www.dat.de).

Audi supports FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti

60 nations, more than 700 athletes, 21 disciplines – the Finnish city of Lahti is now hosting the Nordic World Ski Championnships for the seventh time. Audi will be featured there this year as a partner of the athletes and, in addition, offering activities off the trail as well. During a “VR Experience,” visitors will have the opportunity to witness ski jumping in the virtual world. At several locations, Audi is going to showcase current models. One of the highlights: at the “Home of quattro,” visitors will be able to familiarize themselves with all the members of the Q family and to test drive them.

As an official sponsor the four rings will be visible in many places in Lahti during the twelve days of the Nordic World Ski Championships: on banners along the cross-country skiing trails and at the ski jumping hills, on the walls behind winners’ rostrums and on the bibs worn by the athletes in the sprint races. To the organizational committee of the competitions Audi is providing cars, including Audi Q7 e-tron, A6 allroad quattro, A6 Avant and A4 allroad quattro. To fans at the venue the premium brand will be making internet access available via Audi-WiFi.

The partnership with the World Championships is part of an extensive commitment in Nordic winter sports. Since 2013, Audi has been the principal sponsor of the Nordic Combination World Cup and since the 2014/2015 season, partner of the FIS Cross-Country Skiing and Ski Jump World Cups. The Four-Hills Tournament and the FIS Ski Flying World Championships are held under the banner of the four rings as well.

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Audi Twin Cup: Audi Zentrum Fürth is the 2017 German service champion

Putting premium service to the test: The best teams of technicians and service advisors from ten German partner companies applied their skills and expertise to a range of tests in the competition for Audi’s 2017 German after sales championship. The professionals at the event last weekend in Neckarsulm were called on to demonstrate their teamwork and particularly their comprehensive know-how in the areas of digitalization and electrification. The team from the Audi Zentrum Fürth emerged as the winner in the final round. It will represent Germany at the international final for the Audi Twin Cup in September, when it will compete against the best teams from about 40 other countries.

“The Audi Twin Cup proves time and again that teamwork, outstanding performance and excellent customer treatment are decisive factors for success,” said Christian Bauer, Head of Service Germany at AUDI AG. “Conditions overall are becoming increasingly complex. Given today’s electrification and digitalization, for example, the service professionals must have additional technical skills and be continually taking part in training to keep pace with high-voltage technologies, driver assistance systems and connectivity.”

At the national final for this year’s Audi Twin Cup, the ten service teams faced several practical tests, including a vehicle handover of an Audi Q7 e-tron*. The ten technical teams had to demonstrate their ability to perform diagnostic and repair procedures on a new Audi Q5 in accordance with manufacturer specifications, among other challenges.

The 20 participating teams qualified in the German preliminary round in 2016, when they competed in a field that included 678 teams and 342 Audi partner companies. This year marks the 17th time the German final of the Audi Twin Cup has been held.

*Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi Q7 3.0 TDI e-tron quattro:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 1,9 – 1,8
Combined electric power consumption in kWh/100 km: 19 – 18,1
Combined CO2-emission in g/km: 50 – 48

Successful Alpine World Ski Championships for Audi in St. Moritz

The emotional opening ceremony at the Swiss resort St. Moritz rang in the seventh Alpine World Ski Championships with Audi as the Presenting Partner. In eleven events, the world’s best skiers competed for medals and kept the more than 160,000 visitors thrilled and watching with bated breath. Like two years ago during the World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, the Austrian Ski Association including the five-time overall World Cup winner and brand new World Champion in slalom and giant slalom events, Marcel Hirscher, with a total of nine medals, again achieved the most successful tally of all 76 nations.

The best view of the races was enjoyed by ski fans in the coveted quattro seats. Participants in a contest had the chance to secure the heated seats at the level of the finish arch. On the evening of each race day, another highlight was on the agenda for the guests of the Audi Lounge at Kulm Park: ex skiing pro and presenter Marco Büchel welcomed the medal winners of the day for interviews.

Off the slopes, Audi treated numerous ski stars to a welcome change of pace from the normal competitions. Audi DTM star and World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekström invited athletes from various nations to take part in the Audi #SuperQ. At the wheel of sporty Audi models, the ski racers mastered a course made up of snow and ice. Ekström and his fellow rallycross driver Toomas Heikkinen provided valuable tips for handling a car with studded tires and four-wheel drive.

Podium for Audi driver di Grassi in Buenos Aires

A word from … Lucas di Grassi

In Buenos Aires, you clinched your first pole position in Formula E. Consequently, wouldn’t you have hoped for more than third place in the race?
Lucas di Grassi: “A podium was the maximum we were able to achieve. With third place in the race and pole position we scored 18 points in total. It was no doubt a good weekend for us even though we still have a lot of homework to do.”

Why weren’t you able to defend your initial lead?
“It’s obvious that the cars with a Renault powertrain in front of and behind me were faster. In addition, my first car felt pretty strange. I had relatively little grip and a lot more oversteer than expected. The only thing I could do was to wait until the car change halfway through the race. The second car then was really good. I was able to overtake Nico (Prost) and make up some ground to Jev (Jean-Eric Vergne) too. Recovering from position five to three was a top result. More than that wasn’t possible.”

You continue to rank in second place of the standings, but the gap to leader of the standings Sébastien Buemi has gotten bigger. What can you do about that?
“Seb (Buemi) was dominant last year as well. But he made some mistakes that we took advantage of. This season, he hasn’t made any mistakes in the first three races. Obviously, we’re going to continue trying to reduce the deficit to Renault. But during the season, only small improvements are possible in Formula E. You can only make a major step with a new homologation – and that exists only from year to year. We’re already working on the new powertrain for season four.”

What will be possible in the next races?
“In season three, we can only try to score as many points as possible. I’ve managed to do that pretty well so far by taking second place in Hong Kong, fifth in Marrakesh, plus the 18 points in in Buenos Aires. We have to be ready to act when the others make mistakes. In that case, we can win races as well.”

You clinched your first pole position in Formula E in Buenos Aires. Did you expect that?
“We always try to extract the maximum. The track had little grip and I managed a good lap. That it turned out to be pole position was a nice surprise. It was great putting the car on pole.” 

Audi Short Film Award goes to Lebanese director Karam Ghossein

The Audi Short Film Award and its €20,000 cash prize goes this year to the German-Lebanese co-production “Street of Death.” Director and cameraman Karam Ghossein creates a stream of images from the present combined with stories from the past, occurring like a kaleidoscope along the highway to the Beirut International Airport. In the 22-minute-long firm, struggles for power and respect remain as persistent points throughout the ages. The international short film jury for 2017 includes Christian Jankowski, an artist and Professor at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart; Kimberly Drew, Curator and Social Media Manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York; and Carlos Núñez, Artistic Director of the SANFIC Santiago International Film Festival.

A total of 23 films from 19 countries competed for the jury’s votes in the Berlinale Shorts section. Under the title “Reframing the Image,” curator Maike Mia Höhne assembled a series of films focused on recalibrating one’s own perception, offering the filmgoer a unique new perspective. “The short film is the hotbed of creativity for the film industry. This is where directors execute their visions and provide food for thought, sometimes experimentally, sometimes essayistically. This gives rise to new trends – and that’s what we want to support with the Audi Short Film Award,” says Jason Lusty, Head of Marketing Germany at AUDI AG, explaining Audi’s involvement. The Audi Short Film Award is presented in the Berlinale Shorts section alongside the Golden and Silver Bears, and is among the world’s most lucrative short film awards.

Innovation was also the leitmotif for the Berlinale Open House series of events in the Audi Berlinale Lounge. High-ranking guests from the worlds of research, culture and business discussed new film projects and current trends, as well as the opportunities opened up by artificial intelligence and virtual reality. “Digital transformation has long been more than just an economic issue, and it now involves all levels of society. We therefore aim to drive the interdisciplinary dialog forward,” explains Lusty. “The Berlinale has proven this year to be an ideal platform for doing just that, since culture and business meet here in a creative environment.”

More than 6,000 guests in total enjoyed the Berlinale Open House program, ensuring a full house on every day of the event. While the discussion sessions drew the public in the afternoons, the drive up to the red carpet and the Berlinale Lounge Nights, with leading musicians and DJs, proved a crowd-puller in the evening.

Photos can be found at http://www.image.net/audiberlinale2017, further information is available at https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/de/berlinale-297.

About Karam Ghossein
Born in Nabatiye, South Lebanon in 1988, he lives in Beirut. He studied film and television at the Lebanese University. Since 2006 he has worked on numerous experimental, documentary and fiction short films as well as on TV productions, including as cinematographer on Al Marhala Al Rabiaa (The Fourth Stage) which screened in the 2016 Forum Expanded. His work has been shown at venues including MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Street of Death is his debut film as a director.

Audi receives Industrial Inclusion Prize

One of the reasons the jury gave for its decision in favor of Audi was the company’s special focus on the continued employment of people with physical disabilities. To firmly establish inclusion at Audi, the company is training its management staff, and together with the Works Council is promoting “soft factors” such as respect and communication.

“Each individual employee contributes to the company’s success,” stated Audi’s Board of Management Member for Human Resources Thomas Sigi. “We see it as essential to deploy our employees where they can best apply their strengths.” He believes this is especially important with regard to inclusion: “People with physical disabilities give us a new, unfamiliar perspective and strengthen the creative potential of their teams,” emphasized Sigi. “This diversity is enriching and is part of the diversity culture that we encourage at Audi.”

Audi employs people with physical disabilities as long as possible in their usual teams, in the area of production for example. When an employee can no longer carry out his or her normal work, the line manager, Human Resources department and Works Council work together to find ergonomic aids or improved possibilities for deployment in the usual working environment. Other tasks within the same team are considered, for example. If this is not possible, a move to another department is examined. Since 2010, Audi has created approximately 1,000 new jobs for disabled people in areas close to production.

For Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council, this commitment is an obligation vis‑à‑vis the employees with disabilities. “For us, every person is an individual and must be treated as such,” he stated. In order to promote equal opportunities, the Works Council places priority on strong representation of people with disabilities. “We not only stand up for the interests of disabled employees, we also support their integration in the company and continue to be available for advice after that,” continued Mosch.

A joint study carried out by Audi and the University of St. Gallen has confirmed the success of this integration concept: Mixed teams with disabled and non‑disabled employees generate more ideas and work more creatively than homogeneous teams. Key factors for successful inclusion are respectful leadership by team leaders and managers and good cooperation within the team. These so‑called soft factors have a significant impact on the employees’ satisfaction and health. “With ergonomic workplaces, we create the right conditions for the integration of employees with physical limitations,” stated Hubert Waltl, Board of Management member for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG. “It is even more important that managers and colleagues accompany and support these employees.”

Audi has integrated the findings from the St. Gallen study into its new management model, in which respect and appreciation play a major role. The company also trains its management staff on this basis. They are trained in working with disabled employees in specific scenarios and thus gain more confidence in challenging management situations.

The Industrial Inclusion Prize is regarded as Germany’s most important award for integration and inclusion issues. The current prize is awarded to companies that carried out exemplary projects and activities in 2015 and 2016. The initiators of the prize include the Confederation of German Employer Associations, the Federal Employment Agency, the Diversity Charter and Unternehmensforum (an association of companies for the promotion of inclusion at work).

Bernd Hoffmann – Biography

Bernd Hoffmann was born in Versmold, Germany, on July 16, 1963.

After completing his Business Engineering degree at the TU Darmstadt university, Hoffmann started his career in the Volkswagen AG Marketing and Sales department in 1990.

In 1993, he moved to AUDI AG and took on various managerial roles, including in the area of dealership network development and retail marketing. At Autogerma S.p.A., the Italian national subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, today known as Volkswagen Group Italia, Hoffmann was responsible for the marketing activities of the Audi brand from 1999 to 2001 before working as head of global sales and marketing of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. for four years.

On his return to Ingolstadt, Bernd Hoffmann took on responsibility for global dealership network development from 2004 onwards, followed by responsibility for the international sales strategy for AUDI AG. From 2008 to 2015, Hoffmann ran the Audi After Sales business as Executive Director Service/Genuine Parts. In 2015, he was appointed Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Taiwan with overall responsibility for the Volkswagen Group brands business within the market.

Since February 1, 2017, Bernd Hoffmann has been Head of Sales Strategy / Retail Business Development for AUDI AG in Ingolstadt.

Audi wins VDA Logistics Award for automated vehicle transport

“Driverless transport systems are one of the key technologies of the Smart Factory,” said Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Board Member for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG. “With their flexible navigation we are improving efficiency in vehicle transport as well. FTS Ray is now in production operation at the Ingolstadt plant. We will be transferring the concept to other processes and sites.” VDA President Matthias Wissmann emphasized: “Our industry thrives on innovative solutions like this. The digitalization and connection of production, and in fact of the entire value chain, is the biggest challenge for the industry. Concepts like that of the award-winner clearly demonstrate that the German automotive industry is on top here as well.”

There are now twelve parking robots in use at Audi’s main plant in Ingolstadt. They autonomously transport Audi models after production for railway loading. For this, one of the roughly six meter long and three meter wide robots uses laser sensors to determine the position and dimensions of a car and adjusts itself accordingly. Then the robot carefully lifts the car up to ten centimeters. A central, autonomous control system assigns a space to the robot where the robot can park it via the shortest route. Once a sufficient number of cars have accumulated for the same transport destination, a robot prepares them for loading on to the railway freight cars.

The driverless transport systems complete up to 8,000 movements per day this way, while covering about 500 kilometers (310.7 miles). They even change their own batteries: When the charge status is low, the robots promptly dock themselves onto the automated changing station and specially designed robots change out the batteries within a few minutes. The system operates reliably around the clock – on an open parking deck and at outdoor temperatures up to minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit). It thus improves both efficiency and ergonomics for employees: They now have significantly shorter distances to walk and are exposed to fewer extreme weather conditions.

The Ray driverless transport system was created in partnership with Serva Transport Systems in Grabenstätt am Chiemsee. The parking robots are continuously being developed further – their weather resistance, for example. In the first quarter of 2017, a total of 18 parking robots are already sorting ready-to-transport cars in Audi railway loading within an area of 20,000 square meters (215,278.2 sq ft). Additional opportunities for their use in the Ingolstadt plant have already been identified.

Loïc Duval: “I’d like to mount the podium in the DTM”

Switching from the WEC to the DTM is a major step – are you looking forward to this new challenge?
Loïc Duval: “I’ve always been a great fan of the DTM. Even back when I was racing in the Formula 3 Euro Series I was really excited about watching the DTM races. The DTM features strong drivers, tremendous cars and gripping races. When Dieter Gass called and asked me if I’d like to race in the DTM I immediately said yes.”

What was your impression of the Audi RS 5 DTM during the first DTM test at Jerez?
“I previously drove similar cars in Japan, so I immediately felt comfortable. The RS 5 DTM has a lot of power and good aerodynamics. The tires are an unknown factor. I was running on 2016-spec tires and can’t judge how big the difference between them and the 2017-spec tires will be. In total, I had two important test days, one on a dry and one on a wet track. As a result, I was able to get to know the car in varying conditions.”

How were you received by Audi Sport’s DTM squad?
“My new teammates gave me a positive welcome. I’ve known the Audi DTM drivers for many years. Although I was racing in the WEC we met at the fitness camp and on many other occasions. Everyone was very nice and answered many questions I had. Obviously, the guys I feel closest to are René Rast and Mike Rockenfeller because we spent a lot of time together as teammates in the WEC and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

What are the most awe-inspiring aspects for you in the DTM?
“There are many drivers in the DTM with huge experience. Qualifying is often very close, with two tenths of a second making the difference between being at the front or at the far rear of the grid. You have to get everything together in a very tight space of time in the DTM. I still find it hard to judge how long it’s going to take me to know my way around there. The relationship with the race engineer is very important too. In the beginning, it’s probably going to take some time as well to establish the right rapport between us.”

In terms of technology, the DTM cars are going to change to some extent compared with 2016. Is switching to the DTM exactly at this moment a slight advantage?
“In spite of my experience in motorsport I’m nearly a rookie again. So that, no doubt, makes it a little easier to switch to the DTM exactly at this point in time because in 2017 there’ll be changes to aerodynamics, engine output and tires. Plus, pre-heating of the tires will no longer be allowed. As these things mean that even seasoned campaigners have to readjust, it may be easier for me to get on the same level.”