“The power to shape the transformation is in our hands,” avowed Audi CEO Markus Duesmann as he addressed the company’s current and future outlooks at Audi AG’s Annual Media Conference on March 17.
On the Ukraine-Russia conflict, “We are learning from the worst-case scenario that peace in Europe cannot be taken for granted,” Duesmann said. Speaking of the war’s impact on Audi’s business, he said, “Volkswagen Group has stopped production in and export activities to Russia. A task force is working on reducing supply bottlenecks and maximizing supply security.”
Duesmann added, “What’s key now is that politicians and the business community work together to address medium- and long-term possibilities and develop a plan for how to move forward.”
Turning to Vorsprung 2030, Audi’s electrification strategy, Duesmann said the company’s portfolio will include more than 20 electric models in the next four years. For example, the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept will expand the carmaker’s e-models in the luxury class segment.
The company’s successful fast-charging service pilot program, the Audi charging hub, initiated in December. Duesmann said, “Charging must be as simple as refueling – and ideally even more convenient.” The company will launch a second pilot hub this summer in Zurich.
Duesmann said Audi’s premium brand collaborations with Bentley, Lamborghini, and Ducati highlights the strengths of each. “Lamborghini, for example, in lightweight and super sports car construction. Or Bentley in interiors and high-quality leather and wood processing. … Audi certainly stands to benefit in these areas.” He expects the collaboration’s synergies “to reach an amount in the hundreds of millions of euros over the next few years.”
The Audi-Chinese joint venture, FAW NEV, plays a critical role in Audi’s electrification strategy for China. The German automaker will invest 2.6 billion euros in the project, including a new manufacturing plant.
“From late 2024 on, we will locally produce the first models based on the PPE platform, together with our partner FAW,” Duesmann announced. The first to be launched will be three models from the Audi A6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron series.”
According to Duesmann, Audi’s financial underpinnings are solid, with an operating profit of 5.5 billion euros and net cash flow of 7.8 billion euros. “We are very proud of this outstanding team performance. After all, only a healthy car industry will be able to shape the sustainable mobility of the future.”