Audi AG is planning to launch 17 new or revamped models this and will push through with the production of an electric version of the R8 sports car as it bids to build momentum against BMW AG. “We will increase deliveries in all regions of the world, including Europe,” Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said. He expects revenue for this year to surge slightly as registrations in China is seen to top 500,000 vehicles for the first time.
Audi will invest EUR22 billion ($30.4 billion) in the next five years, around 70 percent of which will be allotted for new products and technology. Most of the rest will be invested to expand the carmaker’s global manufacturing capacity, including new sites in Brazil and Mexico.
Audi posted a 6-percent drop in operating profit in 2013 to EUR5.03 billion ($6.97 billion) and 2-percent surge in revenues to EUR49.9 billion as the luxury carmaker logged stronger sales. Operating profit as a percentage of sales was 10 percent, which is above its long-term target range of between 8 percent and 10 percent.
Audi and Mercedes-Benz are stepping up their efforts to overtake BMW by 2020 as the best-selling luxury car maker in the world, a crown that it has been holding for nine straight years. The three carmakers all posted new sales records in 2013, expect demand to climb further this year as boosted by gains in China and North America.
Audi launched a fresh version of the A3 compact in 2013 that allowed it to log an 8-percent rise in sales to 1.58 million cars. For this year, Audi is launching a sedan variant of the A3 in the United States and China year. Audi recently unveiled a revamped version of the TT sports car at the Geneva show and will introduce the sporty S1 subcompact in the second quarter.