Audi is investing €13 billion for new products and technologies as well as on site expansions from 2012 until 2016. It is targeting to achieve "strong growth" on an international scale, as declared by Thomas Sigi, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources at AUDI AG. It also plans to increase lightweight construction and electric mobility areas of expertise in particular, he added. For this matter, the company is planning to recruit additional 1,200 experts in 2012, Sigi disclosed.
In 2011, Audi had a total of 3,500 employees. It had been planning to hire 1,200 experts for its sites in Germany, but actually provided employment to more than 1,300 in the country. In addition, the automaker gave permanent contracts to at least 400 temporary workers. Moreover, more than 700 apprentices started their vocational training at Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt.
On the international level, the number of employees also rose last year. At Györ, there were more than 1,400 new hires, while there were 270 new people at Brussels. In order to cater to the need for skilled employees in the next few years, the elected representatives of the company and the employees have agreed to provide permanent employment contracts to apprentices, as well as to the participants of the StEP program (Study and Experience in Practice) and the students from vocational training academies after they finish their courses. Moreover, Audi is creating an all-inclusive program for the development and promotion of its own junior employees beyond their narrower vocational training.
As an example, Sigi cited that they allow their apprentices to gain experience overseas very early on. The Group intends to invest 13 billion euros in plant, property and equipment from next year through 2016. This will be the company's largest investment plan ever. Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG, explained that to maintain a profitable growth, the company will step up investment spending on new products. Specifically, at least 2 billion euros are planned to be invested each year in new technologies and products, Strotbek revealed. All in all, at least 10.5 billion euros are to be invested on the development of new models as well as on future technologies like the hybrid or electric drive.