Audi intends to purchase a 41 percent share in CSI Unternehmensgruppe, its second investment in automobile design specialists within four days. The company's development chief Michael Dick related that the CSI engineers have been "a reliable partner" for more than a decade, citing cooperation on the R8 sports vehicle which is valued at 111,000 euros or $149,000.
Design specialist CSI was established in 1995. It specializes in developing exterior and interior modules for vehicle manufacturers such as Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and Porsche AG.
The company has 250 employees at eight German sites, which includes Ingolstadt where Audi is based. It also operates in Wolfsburg, where the corporate headquarters of Audi's parent company Volkswagen AG is located. Audi aims to hit sales of 2 million units annually by 2020, according to two sources. This year, Audi has overtaken Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz in sales.
It is aiming to outperform luxury-market leader BMW by 2015. Antitrust authorities are currently examining Audi's acquisition, the value of which has not been disclosed. On November 25, Audi stated that it has agreed to purchase a 91 percent stake in design specialist PSW Automotive Engineering GmbH. PSW currently employs 550 workers and also works with BMW, Daimler and VW. The vehicle manufacturer did not reveal the acquisition cost. [source: Autonews]