D The board of directors had to meet often in the past few months. After all, it is important to get the ailing carmaker back on track after the diesel disaster and its effects. Sales and returns are still well below the expectations of the Audi managers and the Porsche and Piëch owner families. Surely they see with horror that their Bavarian premium vehicle manufacturer has long since fallen behind their competitors BMW and Mercedes. And that's why they commissioned VW CEO Herbert Diess, working shoulder to shoulder with Audi CEO Bram Schot, to initiate the turnaround in order to become profitable again as quickly as possible.
'Profit zone clearly ahead of comfort zone'
In their planning rounds, the managers finally decided to invest 40 billion euros by 2023 in order to make the group structure and the model range fit for the future. 14 billion euros of this is to be used for driving automated driving, digital services and electric mobility alone. In order to raise these funds, the board members around Stadler's successor Bram Schot have to tighten the austerity program: “We have tightened the target from the original 10 to 15 billion euros by the end of 2022. Because Audi can do more, but also because we don't want to give anything away. It will not be easy, but we are clearly putting the profit zone before the comfort zone, ”announced Audi boss Schot. You can tell from him that he knows exactly what the Audi employees are up to. Allegedly, 70 percent of the measures necessary to achieve the savings targets have already been initiated.
The Audi boss has also started to purify the portfolio. 'We have deleted almost a third of our engine-gearbox combinations,' reported Bram Schot. 'We focus on what the customer is willing to pay for - and what not'. This reduces complexity and brings down product costs. Customers love the Q-series SUVs, which is why Audi plans to sell every second customer a Q-model by 2025 - and a large proportion of them, of course, with electric drive.
R8 and TT are getting electric successors
“Do we need a successor with a combustion engine? Does that fit our vision? ”Asks the new Audi boss when it comes to future models. Therefore, the R8 will most likely be reissued as a pure e-sports car. As a car that is just as desirable as a Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive was once. The two-seater Audi TT sports car will probably be the harbinger. “We have had this emotional sports car in for 20 yearsour offer. In a few years' time we will replace the TT with a new emotional model in the same price range. With an electric car, ”reported Bram Schot proudly at the shareholders' meeting.
Bram Schot plans to launch another five electric cars as early as 2020. By 2025 there should be 20 all-electric models. The next generation of the Audi A8 will probably drive exclusively electrically. “That has not yet been decided,” said Schot. “I can well imagine it. We're thinking about revolutionizing the luxury class with a completely new concept for the A8 '.
For the upscale vehicle classes next to or below the A8 sedan, Schot wants to expand the electric range:' We're also betting on plug-in hybrids and in the future also on the h-tron drive. In this way we also meet the performance and range requirements of fleet customers on long-haul routes. By 2025, every fourth vehicle delivered by Audi should be a plug-in hybrid or a purely electric car worldwide.