Audi is planning a EUR22-billion ($30.3 billion) investment through 2018 as part of its bid to become the largest luxury carmaker in the world. Around 70 percent of the amount, or about EUR15.4 billion, will be spent for development of new models and technology. Audi is eyeing to deliver 2 million cars and SUVs annually after attaining a goal of 1.5 million vehicles in 2013.
"We are now decisively steering toward our next milestone," Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said in a statement. The allotted amount is equivalent to spending EUR4.4 billion annually, an increase from a previous plan that entailed investing EUR4.3 billion every year on new models and expanding production capacity.
Audi's expansion is part of parent Volkswagen's EUR84.2 billion investment program to surpass Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors in global sales within this decade.
The current leader in global luxury car sales, BMW, is also expanding its capacity to continue its reign in the premium segment. BMW is introducing 25 models in 2013 and 2014, including 10 all-new vehicles. BMW remarked in November that its investments will exceed targets this year and will continue at a high rate next year.
Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, plans to introduce 13 all-new models by the end of the decade. Audi on the other hand is widening its SUV lineup. Daimler recently announced it will spend EUR200 million in a vehicle- technology and testing center in Geisingen-Immendingen. Audi is planning to expand its product range to 60 models by 2020 from the current 49. [source: automotive news - sub. required]